Italy sets start date of TAP gas pipeline construction

Italian Minister of Economic Development Federica Guidi signed an order authorizing the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the Ministry of Economic Development of Italy’s statement posted on its website said.

Guidi’s order is the final action in the implementation of the TAP construction, which will ensure the Azerbaijani gas supply to Europe, the statement said.

“The order authorizes the construction and operation of the pipeline,” the statement said. “It approves the project and the rapid creation of the infrastructure, including a solution to the issue of land alienation. The pipeline construction will begin May 16, 2016 and must be completed by December 31, 2020.”

The project is of strategic importance for Italy as it will diversify energy supplies, the statement said.

TAP is meant to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further to western Europe. The pipeline’s total length is about 870 kilometers.

The construction of the pipeline is expected to start in 2016. TAP’s initial capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, expandable to 20 billion cubic meters per year.

TAP’s shareholders are: BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent), and Axpo (five percent).