This year will be key in ensuring the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is commissioned and progressively ready for operations and the start of gas deliveries in 2020, TAP Managing Director Luca Schieppati said in an interview with Trend.
"On the technical side, we will be focused on safely completing onshore pipeline construction works in Greece and Albania. Once mechanical completion is achieved, TAP will enter several phases to ensure the pipeline is entirely safe and ready for operations, in line with national and international safety and operations standards. These phases include pre-commissioning and commissioning," he said.
Additionally, the managing director noted that 2019 will be marked by the completion of TAP compressor and metering stations in Greece and Albania as well as significantly progressing the offshore construction activities, onshore pipeline construction and the pipeline receiving terminal in Italy.
"Finally, early 2019 we also expect to fully complete construction of the first section of the pipeline in Greece," Schieppati said.
In parallel, he pointed out that TAP is very focused on preparations for commercial operations as a transmission system operator (TSO) and an Independent Transmission Operator (ITO).
In 2019, the main deliverables of TAP commercial team will be finalizing and adopting the TAP Network Code and implementing the related Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools, signing the Interconnection agreements with the adjacent TSOs as well as securing a series of commercial licenses to operate from the relevant authorities in the host countries, such as the Independent Natural Gas System operations license in Greece and the transmission license in Albania.
"Our operations team is committed to safety, environment and efficiency, with a strong focus on availability and reliability. Therefore, a full Operations Readiness Programme has been established, which includes independent Operability Assurance by third parties. Our operations team is also building both the transportation services (e.g. dispatching, metering, balancing) and the asset management processes in order to be ready to operate efficiently and effectively," he said.
Schieppati noted that maintenance plans have already been defined and shared with the local transmission system operators in Greece and Italy, and the maintenance joint venture for Albania.
"All in all, there is still a lot of work ahead of us. But we are confident that TAP will continue to progress on time and on schedule, delivering a modern, safe and robust pipeline for the transport of Shah Deniz gas to Europe," he added.
TAP project, worth 4.5 billion euros, is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union (EU).
Connecting with the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (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), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
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