Germany-based energy provider E.ON Ruhrgas has joined as a consortium partner to build the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project. The company will acquire a 15% stake in the project.

Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil and Switzerland-based Elektrizitats-Gesellschaft Laufenburg (EGL) are the existing partners of the consortium. Statoil and EGL will hold 42.5% share each in the natural gas pipeline project.

The TAP project connects existing and planned natural gas transport grids in south-east Europe with gas systems in western Europe via Italy, the Adriatic Sea, Albania and Greece.

Hans Schulz, CEO of EGL, said: “It has always been our intention to attract additional strong partners able to add value to this project. These include partners who are active in the construction of pipelines and gas distribution and thus contribute to TAP’s success. The project now comprises of a group of companies with complementing capabilities.”

Rune Bjornson, executive vice president of natural gas at Statoil, has said that the move will further strengthen the TAP project and its ability to compete for gas volumes to be transported from the Caspian region to Europe.