TAP’s new long-term capacity to be available at end-2025 - Luca Schieppati (Interview)

Oil&Gas Materials 10 February 2023 10:31 (UTC +04:00)
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
Read more

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb.10. The new long-term capacity of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will be available at end-2025, Luca Schieppati, TAP managing director, said in an interview with Trend.

“The requests [in the market test] amount to 1.2 bcm for deliveries from 2026 to December 2028 and, in a second tranche, from October 2026 to September 2033. We are signing the transport contracts for this new long-term capacity which will be available at end-2025. To the first 1.2 bcm of gas, of which 1 bcm to Italy and 200 mcm to Albania, TAP will add at least 10% of extra gas under pipeline operating conditions,” he explained.

Achieving full expansion

Following the closing of the binding bid submission window on 22 January 2023, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline consortium will now trigger the first level of expansion and allocate 1.2 billion cubic meters (bcm) of incremental capacity per year through long term contracts starting from 2026, said Luca Schieppati.

“This marks the beginning of TAP’s capacity expansion with the aim to double the flow rate to 20 bcm/y of gas by 2027. As our capacity expansion is a matter of supply and demand, full expansion will be achieved when our market tests confirm binding commitments from shippers for further long-term capacity,” he said.

Luca Schieppati pointed out that TAP will double its capacity in incremental steps.

“The market test started in 2021 with two windows available to operators: the first that ended on January 22 and a second one that we plan to activate in the second half of the year, most probably between September and October. The step just closed does not prevent us from working on the next phase of binding offers and on doubling the capacity. The results recorded up to now confirm the goodness of an open, transparent and non-discriminatory process that is proceeding in stages,” he added.

Expectations for 2023 supplies

Schieppati noted that the Trans Adriatic Pipeline represents approximately 30 percent of Bulgarian, 20 percent of Greek, and over 10 percent of Italian gas demand.

“In 2023 we plan to continue the good performance achieved in the previous couple of years. In 2022 alone, we have transported about 11.5 billion cubic meters (bcm), of which about 10 bcm was for Italy, with an increase of 3bcm compared to the previous year. Just a few days ago, we crossed the 20 bcm mark of gas transported to Italy, Greece and Bulgaria since the beginning of our operations,” he said.

Clean energy transition

He pointed out that the Trans Adriatic Pipeline is studying the possibility of installing electric motors powered by renewables.

“At TAP we remain fully committed to making sure the energy transition, particularly in Southeast Europe, happens in a sustainable manner. The expansion of TAP represents an opportunity to implement a series of solutions aimed at reducing the carbon footprint, cutting fugitive emissions and transporting green gases (hydrogen and biomethane) in the future. For this reason, the possibility of connecting the compressor stations to very high voltage networks is being studied, as well as installing electric motors powered by renewable sources instead of gas turbines. And the compatibility of TAP pipes with the transport of hydrogen at 100 percent is also being tested in specialized laboratories,” he said.

Schieppati noted that TAP is also a participant in the Joint Industry Project H2Pipe for the development of the world’s first guideline for the transport of hydrogen in existing and new offshore pipelines, which will not only benefit TAP, but other transnational interconnectors.


Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn