“TAP is a priority project for Europe. To date, more than 80 percent of the pipeline has been built. We are working to ensure that the pipeline is put into operation, as planned, in 2020,” he told Progetto Manager, Trend reports.
Talking about the process of TAP’s construction in Italy, the country manager said the project involves the construction of a microtunnel.
“The other two elements are the 8 km of pipeline on the ground, laid one and a half meters deep, and the the Pipeline Receiving Terminal (PRT). Work is under way in the PRT area and along the 8 km of the pipeline,” he said.
Elia went on to add that TAP is a strategic project, because it will strengthen energy security, diversification of sources and will be able to guarantee more competitive gas supplies for Italy, in a context of constantly growing international prices.
“In Italy, gas consumption has been growing steadily for three years and reached 75 billion cubic meters in 2017. Over 90 percent come from abroad, namely, from Russia, Algeria, Libya, Northern Europe. Supply contracts for around 35 billion cubic meters per year will expire by 2020. Therefore, TAP will become a timely gas supply source for Italy,” he noted.
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).