Saipem will start the construction of the subsea section of the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) in 2018, as planned. The first activities are related to the construction of the microtunnels, through which the pipes will go to the surface of the Italian coast. Exactly these tunnels were expected to delay the project, as the local communities in the province of Melendugno have opposed the construction of the pipeline and have asked the court to stop the activities, motivating their claim with the vague plans to move the olive trees that are on the way of the pipes.
The project company for TAP explains that 231 olives will be moved during the construction of the microtunnels for the pipes. These tunnels have to keep the beach near the town of San Phoca. After the construction works are completed, the trees will be returned to their places again, said the company.
An Italian court has frozen work on the pipeline, but several days ago it said the activities could continue.
Saipem was awarded with construction of the subsea section of TAP in Adriatic Sea in April 2016. The company commented that they very carefully planned their work on the project, which is one of the EU’s top priorities. The gas pipeline will flow from the Caspian region to Europe, diversifying sources and routes of raw material to the Old Continent.
TAP is the ultimate unit of the Southern Gas Corridor. The pipeline must be linked to the Transanadol Gas Pipeline (TANAP), which will be built across Turkey. The total length of TAP is 878 km across Greece (550 km) and Albania. The seabed area is 105 km long.
The total capacity of the pipeline is initially 10 billion cubic meters, but it can increase with the construction of compressor stations.