TAP AG, the company in charge of the construction and operation of the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline started to introduce natural gas into a four kilometres section of the pipeline in Albania, between the Greek – Albanian border and up to the TAP metering station in Bilisht. The pipeline is due to start pumping Azeri gas to Southeast Europe by the end of this year.
TAP AG reported that in line with national and international safety and operational standards, this is the initial stage of the pipeline testing process, which aims to ensure that the infrastructure is entirely safe and ready for operations. Following the commissioning of this first section, gas will continue to be gradually introduced into other sections of the Albanian pipeline and beyond in the upcoming weeks and months.
TAP will transport natural gas from the Shah Deniz II field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, to Europe. The 878 kilometres 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.
Once built, the gas corridor is expected to offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route opening up the Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500 kilometres long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe, contributing this way to the diversification of European energy supplies.
The construction of the 4.5 billion euros project kicked off in 2016 and commercial gas flows are being planned to start this October. At the end of April, TAP AG confirmed that the pipeline project was 95.1 per cent completed. TAP’s first offshore pipelines in Albania were successfully installed and backfilled in May.
TAP’s initial capacity of 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year could be doubled in the future to more than 20 bcm as additional energy supplies come on stream in the wider Caspian region.
TAP’s shareholders comprise BP (20 per cent), Azerbaijan’s state-run oil company SOCAR (20 per cent), Italian gas company Snam (20 per cent), Belgian gas infrastructure group Fluxys (19 per cent), Spanish energy company and TSO Enagas (16 per cent) and Swiss energy company Axpo (5 per cent).