Italy can delay TAP implementation
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 5
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
Implementation of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project can be delayed, Vitaliy Baylarbayov, deputy vice-president of SOCAR for investments and marketing, told EurActiv.
“This is due to delays in issuing permits by the local authorities in the Italian region of Puglia,” he explained.
Baylarbayov noted that so far, all necessary permits have not been granted to SOCAR for continuing the work in Italy.
Risk of delay objectively exists and this risk in no way prompts the enthusiasm of the project shareholders, he said.
“I would rather say this is about lack of confidence in Puglia [eastern province of Italy] for the realization of large industrial projects,” said Baylarbayov. “TAP is certainly a very big project, one of the largest private investment energy projects in Europe as we speak. This is only TAP. I’m not speaking of the entire Southern Gas Corridor.”
He pointed out that Poseidon pipeline and other projects in the vicinity of Brindisi [city and seaport in Puglia] have also been met with scepticism from society.
“We sincerely hope that Prime Minister Renzi’s government will be able to overcome this lack of confidence,” said SOCAR deputy vice-president.
“But from the federal government of Matteo Renzi, we have full support,” he said. “We work with all regional authorities at all levels, aiming to finalize not only the project itself but the social community support program.”
Speaking about the work to be carried out in Italy, Baylarbayov said the environmental impact is minimal and all damage on the environment will be repaired.
“The pipe arriving from the sea crosses the coast underground and reaches surface eight kilometres further. This will be done by digging a micro-tunnel with the most modern equipment,” he said. “What is important to understand is that TAP leaves no mark on the coast.”
“We also are ready for a titanic effort to dig up and move some 2,000 olive trees of respectful age,” said Baylarbayov. “They will be moved, together with their roots and with the soil, with special machines, and planted at another site, under the supervision of Italian scientists. They will spend two years there and then they will be returned back to their original location. Once again, the pipe will be underground. It will not be visible.”
“I would like to stress that environmental impact is minimal and all damage on the environment will be repaired. All losses for agricultural producers will be compensated,” he said, adding that social budgets in the regions will get a boost.
“The projects are implemented under the most modern and I would say strictest standards. I think that nobody can stop progress,” added SOCAR deputy vice-president.
As regards the Southern Gas Corridor, all elements of the construction, upstream and downstream, are being implemented on schedule, and even ahead of schedule, he said, adding that more than 70 percent of the necessary work has been implemented in Azerbaijan and Georgia.
TAP is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor which is one of the priority energy projects for the EU.
TAP project envisages transportation of gas from the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to the EU countries.
The 870-kilometer pipeline will be connected to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy's south.