Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 26
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
The route of TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) in Italy is optimal and is not a subject to change, and the project is proceeding with the preparation of early works there, according to the official representative in TAP.
TAP's proposed pipeline system in Italy's Puglia consists of approximately 45 km offshore section, a 5 km long onshore pipeline. The pipeline's landfall location is planned on the coast between San Foca and Torre Specchia Ruggeri in the municipality of Melendugno (Lecce).
Recently Italian media reported that the president of Puglia region Michele Emiliano during the meeting with the TAP consortium asked to find alternative for TAP's landfall in Italy because of the environmental concerns.
TAP has repeatedly faced local opposition from Puglia region in Italy. The reason is local people's concerns about the harm the pipeline may make to the landscape. The concerns are also related to the cultural and socioeconomic issues.
"TAP's landfall in San Foca has been selected as the most optimal location for the pipeline to enter Italy, since it is the option with the least environmental impact," Lisa Givert, TAP Head of Communications told Trend.
"Eleven other possible landfall points along the Apulian coastline have been analysed and San Foca was selected as the best solution. This assessment has been validated by the national EIA commission," she said.
The Single Authorization permit of TAP's landfall in San Foca, which has been secured in May 2015, remains valid, and therefore TAP is proceeding with the preparation of early works, according to Givert.
"At the moment, activities are progressing smoothly, in line with the project schedule," she added.
In May, 2015, the Italian Government granted TAP its Single Authorisation Permit. The Single Authorisation is a key permit that allows TAP to move ahead with the start of pipeline construction in 2016.
Givert said that TAP continues to engage with stakeholders at local, regional and national level, about the project and provide updated information.
"TAP is fully collaborating with all authorities and has submitted all documentation that highlights San Foca is the location that has the least impact on the local environment, including the underground micro tunnel that avoids the beach as well as the Posidonia grass," Givert said.
"TAP remains fully on schedule and will be ready to receive first gas in 2020," she added.
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 shareholding is comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Statoil (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).
TAP's initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, expandable to 20 billion cubic meters per year.
TAP's landfall in Italy will be constructed using state-of-the-art micro-tunneling technology that will host pipe at a depth of about 6 meters below the surface of the sea floor, thus eliminating any impact on the coastline, according to the TAP's report.