Managing director: Construction of TAP pipeline to begin in 2013
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 16 / Trend A.Akhundov /
The construction of the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) will begin in 2013, TAP Managing Director Kjetil Tungland told journalists yesterday.
The TAP will deliver gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas field to European markets as part of the field's second stage of development (Shah-Deniz-2).
"Based on the plan, Shah-Deniz-2 will begin supplying gas in 2016," he said. "The construction of the pipeline will take three years. We will begin construction in 2013."
According to Tungland, the pipeline's approximate cost is about $1.5 billion.
"Not all of the research and evaluation work has completed so far, so it is hard to talk about the exact cost," he said. "All of the work that will be implemented by 2016 - the construction and the equipment and so on - is estimated to cost about $1.5 billion."
Tungland added that gas supplies will begin as soon as Shah-Deniz-2 is launched.
"We will fully follow the construction schedule," he said. "As soon as Shah-Deniz-2 starts, we will start transporting gas. It may be 2015, 2016 or 2017."
He noted that the TAP's advantage over other possible pipelines is that the route is the shortest for deliverying Azerbaijani gas to Europe, adding that Italy is also the second largest natural gas consumer market in continental Europe.
"The Italian market is very big," Tungland said. "They also have high gas prices, as it is not so easy to deliver to Italy. Now they are looking for new sources."
"Laying a pipeline under the Adriatic Sea is a complex process, since the sea is quite deep, but we found a relatively shallow location, and the pipeline will be laid through this place at a depth of 820 meters," he said. "We found a route that bypasses national parks in Albania. In Greece, a local company, DESFA, will help us in the initial stage with the detailed design."
According to Tungland, the TAP project is negotiating possible transit routes with the authorities in candidate countries.
"Based on this work, we are confident that we will have a safe trip," he said. "The work will be performed in time to transport the gas through a pipeline from Shah Deniz. We are now in the process of reaching an agreement with the national authorities - licenses and so on."
TAP is part of the South Corridor project, and is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region and the Middle East to Europe. The pipeline will begin in Greece and pass through Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy. The length of the pipeline is 520 kilometers. The initial capacity of the pipeline is 10 billion cubic meters, with a maximum of 20 billion cubic meters per year. The Norwegian Statoil, Swiss EGL and German E.ON Ruhrgas are shareholders.
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