First segment of TAP’s micro-tunnel in Albania complete

First segment of TAP’s micro-tunnel in Albania complete

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 4

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

At the end of April, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) successfully completed the first segment of its micro-tunnel in the Skrapari region, Albania, said a message from TAP AG consortium.

Approximately two months since works started, the boring machine finished digging the 560-metre Eastern micro-tunnel segment, said the message.

“TAP’s contractor Spiecapag and subcontractor Bessac managed to complete this phase in line with the project schedule and without any incidents. The micro-tunnel is constructed using state-of-the-art technology, which ensures safety while minimising impact on the environment. With the Eastern leg completed, the works on the Western segment of the micro-tunnel will now start. The micro-tunnel construction works are due to be finalised during the summer,” said the consortium.

The micro-tunnel in Çorovoda is comprised of the now completed 560-metre Eastern tunnel and a 600-metre Western section, according to the message.

The micro-tunnel will be 1.5 kilometres long, with a 1.8-metre diameter, and avoid any impact on the banks of the Osumi River and a newly constructed bypass road.

Skrapar’s landscape, Albania’s mountainous region where TAP will reach 1,800 metres above sea level, poses many challenges to the pipeline construction, as a result of its numerous geohazards, steep mountain slopes, and geological composition.

TAP project, worth 4.5 billion euros, 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.

Connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Greek-Turkish border, TAP will cross Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Southern Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas network.

The project is currently in its construction phase, which started in 2016.

Once built, TAP will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route opening up the vital Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500-kilometer long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe.

TAP shareholders include 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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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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