By Leman Mammadova
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which envisages transportation of the Azerbaijani gas to Europe, will be put into operation by 2020, Trend reports citing the Proposal for an Integrated National Plan for Energy and Climate (PNIEC) sent by Italian Ministry of Economic Development to the European Commission.
“TAP, which will allow the import of approximately 8.8 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Italy, with the possibility of expanding to 10 billion cubic meters per year, will be put into operation by 2020,” reads the National Plan published on the ministry's website.
The work on constructing interconnection between TAP receiving terminal and gas network of Italy’s Snam company will start from January 12, 2019.
In addition, the physical construction of the interconnection will begin in February-March 2019.
Italian Snam was reimbursed by TAP for an amount of 519 million euros through a true-up mechanism. According to Snam's investment plan for 2017-2021, Snam will invest 4.7 billion euros in 2017-2021 to further develop the gas network in Italy and the infrastructure system of Europe, and 270 million euros in the TAP project.
Being a European leader in the construction and integrated management of natural gas infrastructure, Snam operates and develops Europe’s largest, most accessible pipeline network (more than 40,000 km), the largest storage infrastructure (19 bcm capacity) and one of the first LNG terminals built in Europe.
TAP Interconnection is the gas pipeline (extending for round 55 Km) from TAP PRT (Pipeline Receiving Terminal) in Melendugno (LE) to the existing Snam Rete Gas network in Italy.
As of 14 November 2018, 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.
Approximately 82 percent of the TAP project, including engineering, procurement and construction, was implemented. Since November 2018, 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.
Recently, Albanian government has approved the decision on expropriation and temporary use of immovable property affected by the project for construction of dams that prevent river flooding and ensure protection of the TAP in the Berat, Skrapar and Fier regions of the country. Reportedly, property owners will receive full compensation. The mentioned property will be used for a period of one year, reads the decision.
TAP expects to fully complete Greek section in 2019. Recently, 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 (550 km) of the TAP pipeline, extending from Kipoi in Evros close to the Greek-Turkish border, to Ieropigi, Kastoria, on Greece’s border with Albania.
Estimated at 4.5 billion euros, TAP is a part of Southern Gas Corridor project, that 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) having 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 initial capacity of TAP will be 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year with the possibility of doubling it.
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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