Four and a half years after the inauguration of construction works in Thessaloniki, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), an 878-km gas transportation system crossing Greece, Albania, the Adriatic Sea and Italy, began commercial operations.
A diverse team of industry professionals worked diligently and effectively under challenging conditions to safely deliver a strategic piece of energy infrastructure on schedule.
TAP is the European leg of the Southern Gas Corridor, a gateway project that will transport 10 billion cubic metres (bcm/a) of new gas supplies from Azerbaijan to multiple markets in Europe. The TAP system operates in line with internationally recognised quality, health, safety and environmental standards, and is designed with the potential to double its throughput capacity to 20 bcm/a.
Luca Schieppati, TAP’s Managing Director, commented: “Today, a long-term vision has become a reality! I am extremely proud of this achievement, made possible-first and foremost-thanks to the dedication and commitment of our people and everyone involved, the solid trust and unwavering support of our shareholders, all governments in the value chain and the European Union, as well as the suppliers and contractors that worked on the project. As a new transmission system operator, developed and built in compliance with best industry practices and standards, TAP enables double diversification: a new, reliable and sustainable energy route and source of gas reaching millions of European end-users, for decades to come.”
Murad Heydarov, Chairman of TAP’s Board of Directors, added: “Southern Gas Corridor is the pioneering carrier of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe and one of the most modern and reliable systems currently available for transporting energy. As a key component of the 3,500km Southern Gas Corridor, TAP combines strategic and market competitive features. It ensures that Europe can receive supplies from yet another source, while supporting the key EU objectives of achieving an integrated energy market, and a sustainable, secure and diversified energy mix, contributing to ongoing streams towards clean energy transition.”
A few facts and figures on what the TAP project has entailed so far:
- Traveling through Greece (550 km), Albania (215 km), under the Adriatic Sea (105 km) and coming ashore in Italy (8 km).
- Laying approximately 55,000 pieces of pipe, weighing a total of 520,000 tonnes; from an altitude of 2,100m in the Albanian mountains to a depth of 810m in the Adriatic Sea.
- Working over 50 million man-hours and driving around 140 million kilometres, without any €3.9 billion for project financing and complying with the lenders' robust social and environmental requirements.
- Continuously engaging with the communities along the pipeline route, TAP established trustful relationships and implemented a wide range of social and environmental investments, improving livelihoods.
- Building a strong company culture based on the values of excellence, people, integrity and responsibility, and summarised in the motto ''how we achieve our results is just as important as the results themselves.''
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of bp (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).
TAP’s shareholders have passed the resolution on the development and construction of the project at the end of 2013.
About the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)
TAP transports natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea to Europe. The 878 km long pipeline connects with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border in Kipoi, crosses Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
TAP will facilitate gas supplies to South Eastern European countries. TAP’s exits in Greece and Albania together with the landfall in Italy provide multiple opportunities for further transport of Azerbaijan gas to the wider European markets.
As a key part of the Southern Gas Corridor, TAP is strategically and economically important to Europe and essential in providing reliable access to a new source of natural gas. TAP plays a significant role in boosting Europe’s energy security, supply diversification, as well as decarbonisation objectives.