The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to transport Azeri gas to Europe, is over 72.5-per-cent complete, according to project president Walter Peeraer.
“The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline is on schedule. In terms of overall project progress, as of the end of April 2018, we are more than 72.5-per-cent complete – including all engineering, procurement and construction scope,” he told the media.
“In Greece, as of mid-May, 539km of our right of way has been cleared, approximately 525km line pipes strung, over 514km welded, 434km back-filled and approximately 33km is being reinstated,” Peeraer said.
The project said it would plant approximately 400,000 trees and shrubs in reforestation efforts across the three northern Greek regions traversed by the pipeline.
Greece passed environmental legislation requiring that forest cleared for the pipeline would be replaced. The 4-metre corridor on either side of the pipeline has been deemed unsuitable for deep-rooted vegetation.
Peeraer said in Albania, around 193km had been prepared, 186km of pipes strung, 180km welded and approximately 162km back-filled.
The figures meant in Greece and Albania, TAP had cleared and graded 95 per cent of its corridor or 733km of the 765km length.
“Additionally, we have welded 90 per cent of steel line pipes and around 78 per cent pipes are already in the ground,” Peeraer added.
In Italy, he said TAP’s contractor, Saipem, was conducting micro-tunnel work.
The developer said it had completed construction work on the jacking station at San Foca in Puglia.
The station, about 800 metres from the coast, will work as a hub for drilling a micro-tunnel to link the onshore and offshore sections of the pipeline.
But a TAP spokesperson said drilling work on the micro-tunnel may be delayed until the end of the summer.
“Following the completion of most of the preparatory works, they are now about to finish the digging of the pit, so as to enable the building of the micro-tunnel,” said Peeraer.
TAP is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, bringing Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas to the EU, in an attempt to weaken reliance on Russian supplies.
The pipeline will connect to the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (Tanap) on the Turkish-Greek border before running through Greece, Albania, under the Adriatic Sea and reaching southern Italy.
Of the 878km length, there will be 550km in Greece, Albania 215km, Adriatic Sea 105km and Italy 8km.
BP has a 20-per-cent stake, Socar 20 per cent, Snam 20 per cent, Fluxys 19 per cent, Enagás 16 per cent and Axpo 5 per cent.
TAP is largely completed. Picture credit: YouTube