TAP system secures Albanian environmental, social impact permit

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) system has secured environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) approval in Albania from the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Water Administration. TAP submitted its ESIA in January, mapping out the project’s potential environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic impacts as well as measures to avoid and mitigate them (OGJ Online, Jan. 23, 2013). Approval specified construction and operational requirements TAP must meet to fully comply with Albania’s environmental legislation.

Residents of 83 communities in the regions of Korca, Skrapar, Berat, and Fier, Albania, as well as to various nongovernmental organizations and central institutions reviewed the assessment before submission. TAP held 23 public consultations and discussed the report with 38 local community councils.

TAP must now obtain the infrastructure permits needed to begin construction. The company expects to place the pipeline in service late-2018.

TAP will transport as much as 20 billion cu m/year of natural gas from the Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan, through Greece and Albania to Italy, from where it can be shipped further into Western Europe. The Albanian section of the pipeline will start at Bilisht Qender at the Greek border, stretching 209 km to the coastal area north of Fier. The Albanian offshore section will be 60 km long.

TAP’s shareholders are Switzerland’s Axpo 42.5%, Norway’s Statoil 42.5%, and Germany’s E.On Ruhrgas 15%. Shah Deniz II consortium members—BP PLC, State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic, and Total SA—can join TAP, pending its June selection to transport the field’s production, and currently fund the project.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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