TAP lays first offshore pipes in Albanian waters

TAP lays first offshore pipes in Albanian waters

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 5

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

First ever offshore pipelines of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in Albania were successfully pulled ashore on March 30, Trend reports citing TAP AG consortium.

The pipeline head reached kilometre point 0, where the offshore joins with the onshore section.

“For this operation, TAP’s engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contractor for the offshore section of the project, Saipem, used its pipelay barge Castoro 10. Steel pipes were welded together on board the vessel, which was located 1.4km from the beach. The welds were then tested and the pipeline was lowered onto the seabed. The first 1.8km of welded pipe was pulled ashore at the landfall near Fier,” reads the message.

Saipem’s 139-meter long and 36-meter wide Castoro 10 pipelay barge now continues to lay pipes in Albanian shallow waters, to be followed by fibre optic cable installation and backfilling offshore and at the landfall, said TAP.

TAP marked the start of construction works for the offshore pipeline section in October 2018.

TAP’s offshore section, linking the Albanian and the Italian coasts, is 105 km long.

The pipes will be laid on the Adriatic seabed: 37 km in Albanian territorial waters,25 km in Italian territorial waters; and 43 km in international waters.

The deepest point of the pipeline will be more than 810 metres beneath sea level. Approximately 9,000 pipes, with a 36-inch diameter, will be used, weighing approximately 100,000 tons in total.

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