On 25 November, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG started to introduce the first natural gas into a 2 km section of the pipeline in Greece between the Evros river and the Kipoi compressor station. This is the initial stage of the pipeline commissioning process, which aims to ensure that the infrastructure is entirely safe and ready for operations after the completion of the process, in line with national and international safety and operational standards, according to TAP AG consortium, APA reports.
Introducing gas into the pipeline system is another milestone towards the start of Shah Deniz II gas deliveries to Europe. Commercial gas flows through TAP are being planned to start in October 2020 when the complete asset all the way to Italy is expected to be commissioned and tested.
Ricardo Ruiz Nunez, Operations Director for TAP, said: “Safety is our number one priority and we have prepared thoroughly for this important step. We are starting the introduction of natural gas into the system in line with our commitment to safety, environment and quality standards. TAP implemented a Start Up Readiness Assurance Programme which verified that all aspects of construction, commissioning, start-up and business requirements were in place prior to the introduction of natural gas. Our Operational Readiness Programme ensured that our staff and contractors were fully trained prior to the commencement of this important activity and will continue to be our foundation as we bring gas further into Greece and beyond.”
John Haynes, TAP Project Director, said: “More than three and a half years since the start of construction, 46 million man-hours worked safely and 128 million kilometres driven without any major incidents, we are pleased to have the pipeline system progressively ready for the complex commissioning phase. We would like to thank our network of contractors, subcontractors and partners who have shared our commitment to safety and high industry standards and who contributed to TAP reaching this important milestone.”
Luca Schieppati, TAP Managing Director, added: “The upcoming months will be key in ensuring the pipeline is commissioned and progressively tested to be ready for October 2020 for operations and the start of commercial gas deliveries to Europe. In parallel, we are preparing for commercial operations as a Transmission System Operator and an Independent Transmission Operator. It has been an exciting journey and we look forward to bringing a new source of gas into Europe by means of a new route, contributing to a more diversified and secure energy mix.”
Following the commissioning of the first section, gas will continue to be gradually introduced into other sections of the Greek pipeline and beyond in Albania and Italy in the upcoming weeks and months.
Forming part of the Southern Gas Corridor, a US$40 billion 3500-kilometre long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe, TAP will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route to South East European countries and beyond.
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea to Europe. The 878 km long pipeline connects with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border in Kipoi, crosses Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
First gas deliveries to Europe via TAP will start in October 2020.
TAP’s routing can facilitate gas supply to several South Eastern European countries. TAP’s landfall in Italy provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian gas to the wider European markets.
TAP promotes economic development and job creation along the pipeline route; it is also a major source of foreign direct investment.
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).