TAP intends to launch next market test mid-2019: managing director

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.25

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

It is planned to launch the next market test for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in mid-2019, TAP Managing Director Luca Schieppati said in an interview with Trend.

He pointed out that the capacity of TAP can be expanded up to 20 billion cubic meters per year through the addition of compressor units in the existing two compressor stations and the construction of two additional pre-planned compressor stations.

“Investment in expansion is reliant on new long-term capacity bookings made through market tests and can be done stepwise to match demand. TAP intends to launch the next market test mid-2019, in parallel with the operators of the adjacent transportation systems, according to a European-wide calendar,” noted Schieppati.

He said that further market tests are expected to take place every second year.

Further, taking about the results of 2018 for TAP, the managing director noted that looking back at the last 12 months, 2018 has been a good year for TAP.

“The Trans Adriatic Pipeline continues to progress on budget and on schedule. In terms of overall progress, we are more than 82 percent complete – including all engineering, procurement and construction scope (as of the end of November 2018),” said Schieppati.

He pointed out that this year was marked by a number of milestones.

“This included the successful installation of the turbo compressors in Greece and Albania, launching offshore construction works, completing the connection (otherwise known as the “golden weld”) with TANAP, completing one of the longest horizontal directional drilling to cross the Axios river in Greece and successfully installing the pipeline at the highest point of the project, 2,100 meters above sea level in the Albanian mountains,” said the managing director.

He went on to add that despite undertaking such technically challenging work, TAP safety performance remains world-class.

“So far, we have worked more than 37 million man-hours and driven over 100 million kilometres without any major accidents and with frequency rates (Lost Time Frequency rate and Total Recordable Frequency Rate) in line with best industry levels. TAP also received the OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 certifications. These were awarded for our integrated quality, health, safety and environment (QHSE) management systems, reinforcing that TAP applies industry best practice, processes and procedures,” said Schieppati.

He also emphasized the successful implementation of TAP social and environmental investment (SEI) projects across the host countries.

“To recall just a few examples, in Greece, we donated over 50 utility vehicles to local authorities. These included ambulances, snow ploughs and garbage trucks. We also refurbished the Komotini paediatric clinic and set up the first human milk bank in Northern Greece. In Albania, we renovated several schools, rehabilitated the Mbrostar water supply system in the Municipality of Fier and ran the third edition of our internship program. In Italy, we launched a master course in hospitality management (Ho.Ma.), supported the Real Galatone football team and ran the second edition of our Master of Excellence in new food (MENA),” he said.

These projects are aimed at improving the quality of life of thousands of people and TAP will continue implementing such initiatives in 2019, noted Schieppati.

“Last but not least, we have also made good progress towards commercial and operational readiness,” he added.

TAP project, worth 4.5 billion euros, is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union (EU).

Connecting with the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas 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.

TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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