Trans Adriatic Pipeline
|Trans Adriatic Pipeline|
Map of Trans Adriatic Pipeline
|Operator||Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG|
|Length||870 km (540 mi)|
|Maximum discharge||10–20 billion cubic metres per annum|
|Diameter||48 in (1,219 mm)|
Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP; Albanian: Gazsjellësi Trans-Adriatik, Azerbaijani: Trans Adriatik Boru Xətti Greek: Αδριατικός Αγωγός Φυσικού Αερίου, Italian: Gasdotto Trans-Adriatico) is a pipeline project to transport natural gas from the Caspian sea (Azerbaijan), starting from Greece via Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy and further to Western Europe.
Trans Adriatic Pipeline project was announced in 2003 by Swiss energy company EGL Group (now named Axpo). The feasibility study was concluded in March 2006. Two options were investigated: a northern route through Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia and Albania, and a southern route through Greece and Albania, which finally was considered to be more feasible. In March 2007, the extended basic engineering for the pipeline was completed.
On 13 February 2008, EGL Group and the Norwegian energy company Statoil signed an agreement to set up Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG, a joint venture to develop, build and operate the pipeline. In June 2008, the project company filed an application with the Greek authorities to build a 200 kilometres (120 mi) section of the pipeline from Thessaloniki to the Greek-Albanian border. In January 2009, the TAP project carried out a marine survey in the Adriatic Sea to verify the offshore route for the future gas pipeline. A route assessment survey in Albania started in July 2009. In March 2009, an intergovernmental agreement between Italy and Albania on energy cooperation mentioned TAP as a project of common interest for both countries. In January 2010, TAP opened country offices in Greece, Albania and Italy. In March 2010, TAP submitted an application to Italian authorities for inclusion into the Italian gas network.
In November 2010, TAP started a route refinement survey in northern Greece in preparation for the environmental impact assessment. On 7 September 2011, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP AG) submitted its EU Third Party Access Exemption applications in all three host countries. Exemption will allow TAP AG to enter into long term ship-or-pay gas transportation agreements with the shippers of Shah Deniz II gas. The exemptions were granted on 16 May 2013.
In February 2012, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline was the first project to be pre-selected and to enter exclusive negotiations with the Shah Deniz Consortium. In August 2012, consortium partners BP, SOCAR and Total S.A. signed a funding agreement with TAP's shareholders, including an option to take up to 50% equity in the project. On 22 November 2012, the TAP consortium and Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline's partners signed a memorandum of understanding that establishes a cooperation framework between the two parties. In June 2013, the project was chosen as a route for gas from Shah Deniz II over the competing Nabucco West project. Later this year, BP, SOCAR, Total, and Fluxys became shareholders of the project.
Since it will enhance energy security and diversify gas supplies for several European markets, the TAP project is supported by the European institutions and seen as a "Project of Common Interest" and a part of the Southern Gas Corridor. On 28 September 2012, Albania, Greece and Italy confirmed their political support for the pipeline by signing a memorandum of understanding. In February 2013, Greece, Italy and Albania signed an intergovernmental agreement.
The pipeline starts at the Greece–Turkey border at Kipoi, Evros, where it will be connected with the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline. It will cross Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea and come ashore in Italy near San Foca. The total length of the pipeline will be 867 kilometres (539 mi), of which 547 kilometres (340 mi) in Greece, 211 kilometres (131 mi) in Albania, 104 kilometres (65 mi) in offshore, and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) in Italy. The offshore leg will be laid at a maximum depth of 810 metres (2,660 ft).
The initial capacity of the pipeline will be about 10 billion cubic metres (350 billion cubic feet) of natural gas per year, with the option to expand the capacity up to 20 billion cubic metres (710 billion cubic feet). It will use 48-inch (1,200 mm) pipes for pressure of 95 bars (9,500 kPa) on the onshore section and 36-inch (910 mm) pipes for pressure of 145 bars (14,500 kPa) on the offshore section.
TAP also plans to develop an underground natural gas storage facility in Albania and offer a reverse flow possibility of up to 8.5 billion cubic metres (300 billion cubic feet). These features will ensure additional energy security for the Southeastern Europe. Total construction costs are expected to be about €1.5 billion. TAP is ready to commence pipeline operations in time for first gas exports from Shah Deniz II (expected in 2017–2018).
The pipeline would be supplied by natural gas from the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas field development in the Azerbaijani section of Caspian Sea through the South Caucasus Pipeline and the planned Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP).
Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG is a joint venture company registered in Baar, canton Zug, Switzerland, with a purpose of planning, developing and building the TAP pipeline.  Managing Director of the company is Kjetil Tungland.
Shareholders of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline are BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Statoil (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagas (16%) and Axpo (5%).
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