By Leman Mammadova
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG and DESFA SA which is responsible for the management, operation, maintenance and development of the National Natural Gas System (NNGS) of Greece, have signed an agreement on the maintenance of Greek section of the TAP pipeline, Trend reports citing TAP AG consortium.
According to the agreement, DESFA will be responsible for the maintenance of TAP facilities along the 550 km of the Greek section of the pipeline, extending from Kipoi in Evros close to the Greek-Turkish border, to Ieropigi, Kastoria, on Greece’s border with Albania.
The maintenance agreement covers a five-year period after the commencement of commercial operation of TAP in 2020, and also provides for pre-operational support.
The agreement was ratified by the Regulatory Authority for Energy of Greece (RAE) on December 12.
Nikas Sotirios, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of DESFA, stated that DESFA joins one of the most important energy projects around the globe by taking on an important and active role.
“This is an important milestone in the overall development of the TAP project, which is already 82 percent completed, and is an important step in the completion of the project and starting commercial operations in 2020. The stage of TAP is the construction and operation of the 105-kilometer offshore part of the pipeline”, said TAP managing director Luca Schieppati.
TAP President Walter Peeraer noted that TAP focuses on operational preparation and commercial operations by 2020, saying “This agreement is the beginning of long-term cooperation with DESFA. It is also important for the safe delivery of natural gas to Europe during the operational phase of the TAP, as well as contributing to the energy supply and diversifying sources”.
Approximately 82 percent of the TAP project, including engineering, procurement and construction, was implemented. Last month, Albania started preparations for drilling and piping sources for the microtunel on the 105-kilometer seabed of TAP. Construction of this part of the pipeline will be carried out in 2019 according to the TAP schedule.
As of 14 November 2018, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) signed a Letter of Intent, marking the final stages of negotiation of the Maintenance Agreement talks between TAP and Albgaz Sh.a and Snam S.p.a. – a joint venture to act as the maintenance service provider for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline on the territory of Albania.
TAP, along with TANAP, is a part of Southern Gas Corridor project. The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijani Shah Deniz-2 gas field to Greece and southern Italy across the Adriatic Sea through Greece and Albania, and involves designing, construction and operation of the natural gas pipeline.
On May 29, Baku hosted the launch ceremony of the first phase of the Southern Gas Corridor project.
The Intergovernmental Agreement on the TAP project was signed by Albania, Italy and Greece in February 2013. The 878-kilometer-long TAP pipeline (Greece 550 kilometers, Albania 215 kilometers, Adriatic Sea 105 kilometers, and Italy 8 kilometers) haing connected to the TANAP on the Turkish-Greek border, will run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy’s south.
In November, TAP and TANAP successfully completed their connection on the banks of the Merich River on the Turkish-Greek border.
The TAP pipeline is expected to be commissioned in 2020. The initial capacity of TAP will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year with the possibility of doubling it.
The cost of the project is 4.5 billion euros, so far, 3.2 billion euros has been spent.
TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
The TAP project is one of the strategic objectives of the EU in the energy security and diversification of energy sources, chosen as the shortest and direct way to export natural gas from Azerbaijan to the European markets.
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