Baku, November 25 AZERTAC
Six months after inaugurating the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG in an official ceremony held in Thessaloniki, on Friday 25 November, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited the project’s works currently under way in Alexandroupoli. He was accompanied by the members of Government Mr. Panagiotis Kouroumblis, Minister of Shipping and Island Policy; Mr. Alexandros Charitsis, Alternate Minister of Economy and Development; Mr. Nikolaos Toskas, Alternate Minister of Interior; Mrs. Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha, Deputy Minister of Macedonia-Thrace, as well as the Chairman of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), Mr. Stergios Pitsiorlas.
According to TAP`s official website, Prime Minister Tsipras and his ministers visited TAP’s construction site in Alexandroupoli, near the village of Amphitrite on the pipeline’s 40th km, out of the approximately 550 km traversing Greek territory – TAP’s greatest geography. The Prime Minister was welcomed on site by Ian Bradshaw, TAP Managing Director, Rikard Scoufias, Country Manager for Greece, and Ulrike Andres, Commercial & External Affairs Director. Accompanied by TAP’s executives, the Prime Minister was updated on the project’s progress so far in Greece, attended part of the welding process, and expressed his interest in the reinstatement process for land plots and the environment.
TAP Managing Director Ian Bradshaw stated: “Today’s visit constitutes yet another example of the support the TAP project has received over the years from Greek authorities, on both national and local level. Thanks to that support, we are proceeding full steam ahead in line with our schedule. So far, we have cleared and graded more than 190 km, strung over 110 km of line pipes, and welded another 80 km collectively in Greece and Albania. In addition, today there are more than 1,500 people working for the project directly in Greece. And we remain committed to conducting all our activities safely and acting as responsible corporate citizens of the local communities hosting us.”
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe. The 878 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
TAP’s routing can facilitate gas supply to several South Eastern European countries, including Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and others. TAP’s landfall in Italy provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian natural gas to some of the largest European markets such as Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland and Austria.
TAP will promote economic development and job creation along the pipeline route; it will be a major source of foreign direct investment and is not dependent on grants or subsidies. With first gas sales to Georgia and Turkey targeted for late 2018, first deliveries to Europe will follow approximately in early 2020.
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam S.p.A. (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).