By Sara Israfilbayova
Construction work for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) has reached the highest elevation point of the project, around 2.1 km above sea level, on the Ostrovica mountain.
The Marta Pass connects the Korca and the Skrapari regions of Albania and is also the connection point between the west and the east segments of TAP, according to the message of the TAP AG consortium.
Despite transporting heavy machinery, equipment and steel pipes to over 2,100 meters above sea level, the work is progressing as per schedule, following the highest safety standards, the consortium added.
James Cooper, deputy site representative of TAP in Korca, said that this section is a major engineering challenge for the construction of a pipeline 1.2m in diameter, given the difficult mountainous terrain with steep slopes, and the considerable altitude.
“Despite the difficult landscape, the project is progressing according to plan because we are committed to safety, we have properly trained our employees and we are using state-of-the-art technology. All these elements make our work easier and safer,” Cooper underlined.
TAP project, worth 4.5 billion euros, is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union (EU). The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.
Connecting with TANAP at the Greek-Turkish border, 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 shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
TAP will be 878 kilometers in length (Greece 550 km, Albania 215 km, Adriatic Sea 105 km, and Italy 8 km). Its highest point will be 1,800 meters in Albania’s mountains, while its lowest point will be 820 meters beneath the sea.
The gas will be delivered to Turkey via TANAP in 2018 and after completion of the TAP construction the gas will be delivered to Europe in early 2020.
The share distribution of TANAP shareholders is as follows: Southern Gas Corridor CJSC - 51 percent, SOCAR Turkey Enerji - 7 percent, Botas - 30 percent, BP - 12 percent.
Sara Israfilbayova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Sara_999Is
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