TAP remains committed to dialogue with Italy on environmental concerns
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 1
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) remains committed to an open and transparent dialogue with the Apulia (Southern Italy) community in order to mitigate all environmental concerns, a source in TAP told Trend.
"At local and regional level, TAP continues to inform all involved parties about the potential impact of the project, reply to questions about TAP and clarify doubts via different channels," the source said.
As such, TAP advertises on traditional media and online, delivers informative materials via post to local people living in the area, organizes regular local events, holds debates to inform people and engages with the public via social media, and so on, according to the source.
The source also said that TAP has presented the project on several regional TV shows and constantly interacts with local and regional media to ensure that people are informed as much as possible about the project.
TAP has faced local opposition from Apulia region in Italy, where the pipeline will pass through. The reason is that local people concerned about that pipeline will harm the landscape. There are also concerns about cultural and socioeconomic issues.
The source in TAP said that in Italy, the minister of environment has concluded the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure for the project with the Decree of environmental compatibility in September.
The approval came after extensive engagement with all those involved including regular discussion with local communities, public consultation and close cooperation with those national and regional authorities involved in the process.
"The next and final step of the authorization process is the Single Authorization that will be released by the Conferenza di servizi (meeting of all the involved authorities), whose first gathering will take place on December 3 at the ministry of economic development in Rome," the source said.
The TAP project was selected by the consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development as the transportation route to the European markets. The approximately 870 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near 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 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (five percent). Construction of TAP is planned to begin in 2016. The initial capacity of TAP will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, but it can easily be expanded to 20 billion cubic meters per year as the new volumes of gas come on stream.
The first sales of Azerbaijani gas to Georgia and Turkey are targeted for late 2018, first deliveries to Europe will follow approximately a year later.