By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, which envisages the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, is completed by 93.5 percent, local media reported on March 17.
As of late February, TAP - the final European leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, a complex value chain of energy projects that links natural gas supplies from the second development stage of the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan to Europe, reached its final implementation phase.
“TAP is currently moving further into the project construction phase. Every day hundreds of meters of TAP’s Right of Way (ROW) are cleared, strung, welded, lowered into the trenches and backfilled, in line with the project construction steps and schedule. At the end of February 2020, the TAP project was 93.5 percent completed,” the official website of the TAP AG consortium posted.
TAP project worth € 4,500,000,000 ($ 4,939,823,994) is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union (EU), which aims to ensure energy security and diversification of energy sources in Europe.
Connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Greek-Turkish border, 878 km TAP will cross Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Southern Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas network.
TAP's initial capacity is expected to reach 10 billion cubic meters by 2020 when it will be commissioned. In the future, it is expected to reach 20 billion cubic meters through additional compressors.
The project is currently in its construction phase, which started in 2016.
TAP was selected as the shortest and most direct way to export gas from Azerbaijan to European markets. The Intergovernmental Agreement on the TAP project was signed among Albania, Italy, and Greece in February 2013.
TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
It should be noted that the Southern Gas Corridor project aims to increase and diversify the European energy supply by bringing gas resources from the Caspian Sea to markets in Europe.
The Southern Gas Corridor comprises the following four projects:
The operation of Shah Deniz natural gas-condensate field (“SD1” project) and its full-field development (“SD2'” project);
The operation of the South Caucasus Pipeline (“SCP” project) and its expansion (“SCPX” project);
The construction of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (“TANAP” project);
The construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (“TAP” project).
The projects have an estimated investment cost of approximately $40 billion. Upon completion, the SD2 project will add a further 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum to 10.9 billion cubic meters of gas per annum (maximum production capacity) already produced under the SD1 project. The total length of the newly constructed SCPX, TANAP and TAP pipelines will be more than 3,200 km.
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