Saipem talks on construction of TAP micro-tunnel in Italy
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.8
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The micro-tunnel construction in Italy as part of the implementation of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project will start once the excavation work of the entry shaft is completed, a source in Italian Saipem company, engaged in the micro-tunnel’s construction, told Trend.
“The TAP micro-tunnel will be undertaking so to achieve the project milestones. There are several factors that influence the execution of the microtunnelling,” said the source.
Talking about the process of construction, the company’s representative pointed out that the micro-tunnel consists of a tunnel realized by concrete pipes.
“The first activity is the excavation of the entry shaft. Once excavated, the TBM (tunnel boring machine) is placed in position inside the shaft and the drilling phase starts. The tunnel is realized by inserting step by step the concrete pipes after the TBM and pushing the system from onshore to the sea. Once the TBM has reached the final point offshore, the system will be stopped, the TBM will be disconnected and recovered with the aid of a crane vessel and divers. The tunnel will be flooded, and the 36” pipeline will be pulled inside the tunnel,” said the source.
Saipem has an EPCI contract (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation) which involves the installation of a gas pipeline between the coastlines of Albania and Italy, across the Adriatic Sea.
Specifically, the activities include marine surveys, the installation of a 36” 105 km offshore gas pipeline, the supply and installation of an offshore fiber optic cable, pre-commissioning activities and civil works at the landfalls in both Albania and Italy.
TAP worth 4.5 billion euros is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union. The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.
The pipeline will connect to the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy’s south.
TAP will be 878 kilometers in length (Greece 550 kilometers, Albania 215 kilometers, Adriatic Sea 105 kilometers, and Italy 8 kilometers).
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
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