The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the last section of the $400-billion, 3,500-kilometer-long Southern Gas Corridor, is now over 87 percent complete on the third anniversary of its construction start date, a statement from the TAP AG company said on Friday.
Construction of the project started on May 17, 2016, and the first deliveries to Europe are planned for 2020.One of the pipeline's construction milestones was its connection to the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) on the Maritza River in the Balkans in November 2018.
TANAP is another section of the Southern Gas Corridor. The 1,850-kilometer pipeline will carry 16 billion cubic meters of natural gas starting from the Turkey-Georgia border. Turkey will receive 6 billion cubic meters of this gas via TANAP, while the remaining volumes will be transported to Europe through TAP.
The TAP project, which received 3.9 billion euros ($4.36 billion) in financing from a variety of banks in December 2018, is considered the biggest financial commitment of 2018 for a European infrastructure project.
The latest project milestone was realized in March when the offshore installation began. Pipe-laying started on the 105-kilometer offshore section across the Adriatic Sea at sub-sea depths down to 810 meters.
To date, TAP teams have driven over 116 million kilometers and worked approximately 41 million hours.
Luca Schieppati, TAP's managing director, said the project matters for three main reasons, namely bringing immediate benefits to its three host countries, Greece, Albania and Italy.
After connecting with TANAP on the Turkey-Greek border, TAP will cross northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in southern Italy to finally connect to the Italian natural gas network.
"More broadly, it will provide a degree of energy security and diversity that the wider region hasn't had before. It's also a key project that will facilitate Europe's energy transition," Schieppati said, adding that the construction will result in delivering tangible social and economic benefits to communities in the countries for decades to come.
"We have worked hard to achieve this over the past three years, and the pipeline's positive legacy will continue long after the construction is completed," Schieppati noted.
Once built, TAP will provide important new energy supplies for southeast Europe to power its homes and industries as the region transitions to a low carbon future, according to the TAP AG company statement.Upon completion, the 878-kilometer-long pipeline will provide an estimated 33 percent of Bulgaria's gas needs, 20 percent of Greece's requirements and approximately 10.5 percent for Italy.
BP, SOCAR, and Snam have 20 percent shares each in TAP, while Fluxys holds a 19 percent share. Enagas has a 16 percent stake, and Axpo has a 5 percent interest.