Managing director: TAP will cost €4.5 billion

Baku, January 31, AZERTAC

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline's (TAP) project costs have now been finalized and calculated at 4.5 billion euros, TAP's managing director Ian Bradshaw told Anadolu Agency.

The TAP project aims to connect the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) at the Greece-Turkey border and cross northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before going onshore in southern Italy, where it will link up with the Snam-operated Italian natural gas network. It will be 878 kilometers (km) in length with an initial capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per year to transfer Azerbaijan’s natural gas to several European markets.

“This final figure takes into account extensive engineering and design modifications to the project that have taken place since 2009, including the extension of the pipeline route by nearly 70 percent, from 520 km to 878 km,” said TAP's managing director.

“TAP expects to secure funding from a number of multilateral institutions, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank, as well as Export Credit Guarantee Agencies of a number of OECD countries involved in the supply of goods and services,” Bradshaw said and noted that TAP's financing timetable is expected to be achieved in 2017.

Bradshaw stated that TAP is strategically important for Europe to diversify gas supply sources in South Eastern Europe.

The official said that TAP's development is fully aligned with the Shah Deniz II development schedule - the second phase of Azerbaijan's largest natural gas field from which supplies will be transported via TAP.

He said that the construction of the compressor stations is also due to begin in the first quarter of 2017.

“This will be a continuous activity over approximately two years. The offshore scope will take place in the winter of 2018/2019,” he said.

Bradshaw also hailed the work completed in 2016 as successful, with millions of safe hours worked towards the completion of the project.

From January 23, work has been ongoing in Greece to excavate and clear over 200 km for the pipeline, 120 km in length of pipeline has been strung, approximately 100 km of pipeline length has been welded, 30 km has been back-filled and 6 km has been reinstated.

“Line pipes continue to arrive in Kavala, Thessaloniki and Alexandropoulos. So far, over 60 percent of the 32,000 line pipes that are needed to build the 550km Greek section have been delivered,” he said.

He added that in Albania, approximately 55 km has been cleared and graded along the route, 50 km of pipeline has been strung, 40 km welded and approximately 30 km back-filled.

“This means that between Greece and Albania, TAP has now cleared and graded approximately one third of the pipeline corridor - over 260 km out of 765 km,” he said.

Bradshaw also shared that in Italy, in line with the single authorization permit granted by the Ministry of Economy on May 20, 2015, TAP continues to progress its secondary permitting activities for the TAP landing point at San Foca.

“Finally, until the end of 2016, we have driven over 15 million kilometers and worked more than 8 million man hours without any major safety incidents. This is a very good safety performance which we would like to maintain as we move into more difficult mountainous terrain,” Bradshaw added.

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