The national partners of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) marked the official start of the project in a commencement ceremony in Thessaloniki on Tuesday.
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline is an 878-km pipeline stretching from Greece’s border with Turkey, across northern Greece to Albania, then under the Adriatic Sea connecting Fier to southern Italy. TAP connects the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) with the Italian gas transportation network in southern Italy.
When complete, TAP will provide the "Southern Corridor" link between Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea, which crosses Azerbaijan and Turkey, with western European energy markets. TAP will run for 878 kilometres: 550 km in Greece; 215 km in Albania; 105 km under the Adriatic Sea; and 8 km in Italy. Its highest point will be at 1,800 metres while crossing Albania and its lowest will be 820 metres under the Adriatic sea.
TAP and two other projects will supply approximately 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year of Azeri gas to Europe by 2020, the equivalent to the energy consumption of approximately seven million households.
According to the TAP Consortium, “In the future, the addition of two extra compressor stations could double throughput to more than 20 bcm as additional energy supplies come on stream in the wider Caspian region.
The pipeline will also have the so-called 'physical reverse flow' feature, allowing gas from Italy to be diverted to South East Europe if energy supplies are disrupted or more pipeline capacity is required to bring additional gas into the region.”
Total project costs, include drilling, offshore platforms, terminals, and pipelines, are budgeted at $ 45 billion and the entire pipeline route will span 3,500 km from the Caspian Sea to Italy.
TAP is owned by British Petroleum; SOCAR, the state energy company of Azerbaijan; Enagas of Spain; Snam of Italy; Fluxys of Belgium; and Axpo, the Swiss energy utility.
According to Reuters, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is considering financing the TAP project with a loan of € 1.5 billion.
Greek government officials state that TAP will create 8,000 direct jobs and “hundreds of millions of euros” in contracts for Greek firms participating in the construction project.
SOCAR had previously won the privatisation tender for Greece’s natural gas network (DESFA), but the deal has since been blocked by the European Commission on competition grounds, and has also encountered resistance from the SYRIZA-led government.
Greece, partners sign off Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to widen gas supply Reuters Markets: Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Italy's Snam eyes 17 pct stake in Greek gas network - SOCAR Reuters: Tuesday, November 10, 2015