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Depa Remains Committed to Developing ITGI Pipeline, CEO Says

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Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Greek gas supplier Depa SA is convinced that the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline is the best solution for transporting Caspian Sea gas to Europe, Harry Sachinis, Depa chairman and chief executive officer said.

“The ITGI project presents the best solution for the opening of the Southern Gas Corridor and for Azerbaijan, or other gas producing countries, to export their gas to Europe,” Sachinis said today in an e-mailed statement.

The group of companies developing the second phase of the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan ruled out yesterday using ITGI for transferring gas to the EU. The group comprises BP Plc, Socar, Statoil ASA, Total SA, OAO Lukoil, Naftiran Intertrade and Turkiye Petrolleri AO.

“We understand that this is just a provisional decision,” Sachinis said in the e-mail.

ITGI is “the most advanced” of the gas pipeline projects entering the European Union by its south-eastern borders and is “the only one” with all the necessary permits and agreements in place, and Depa remains committed to continuing its development, Sachinis said.

ITGI is a venture of Depa and Italy’s Edison Spa. Both the Italian and Greek governments yesterday reiterated their support for the project which they said also has the potential to furnish the European market with natural gas from the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean regions where Cyprus and Israel have recently discovered gas deposits.

Earlier the Greek newspaper Imerisia reported that Depa may buy a stake of as much as 15 percent in the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline venture, citing unidentified people in the Greek Energy Ministry.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at ptugwell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net;

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