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TAP, EXA Infrastructure to build new fibre route

5 May 2022 17:27 (UTC+04:00)
TAP, EXA Infrastructure to build new fibre route

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP), part of the Southern Gas Corridor transporting natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, and EXA Infrastructure, the largest dedicated digital infrastructure platform connecting Europe and North America, unveiled a memorandum of understanding for a joint venture to build a new fibre route connecting France with Turkey.

The joint venture will utilise a fibre optic cable already installed by TAP alongside the 878-km gas pipeline, creating the only direct connection between south-east and western Europe to provide high levels of redundancy over existing multi-stage alternative routes.

TAP has been an independent transmission system operator since late 2020. The pipeline connects with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline at the Greek-Turkish border, and crosses Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Southern Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas network.

EXA will share access to TAP’s spare fibre facilities, which are separate to TAP’s gas business, along its full length. EXA and TAP expect to obtain any required clearances and the new system is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2023.

“A resilient, high-speed and low-latency connection between south-east and western Europe has remained a missing link in the continent’s network infrastructure for more than two decades. Through the new fibre optic route, the JV will add a direct link from Marseille to Istanbul to EXA’s owned network infrastructure, with branches connecting to Athens, Sofia and Tirana,” the statement reads.

The new route will feature 36 pairs of state-of-the-art, high-capacity G652D optical fibre in the strategic section of the new corridor.

Azerbaijan started commercial gas supplies to Europe through the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) on December 31, 2020.

TAP is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor and is a pipeline project to transport natural gas, starting from Greece via Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy and further to Western Europe.

The pipeline is supplied by natural gas from the second stage of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas field development in the Azerbaijani section of the Caspian Sea through the South Caucasus Pipeline and TANAP.

The total length of the pipeline is 878 km, of which 550 km is in Greece, 215 km in Albania, 105 km offshore, and 8 km in Italy. The offshore leg is laid at a maximum depth of 810 meters.

The initial capacity of the pipeline is about 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, with the option to expand the capacity up to 20 billion cubic meters.

TAP’s shareholders are BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).

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