Italy-based firm Saipem has received an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for the offshore section of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project that will run from Greece to Italy.


Under the contract, which has been awarded by Trans Adriatic Pipeline joint venture partners, Saipem will be responsible for the installation of a gas pipeline between the coastlines of Albania and Italy, across the Adriatic Sea.

The contract scope includes marine surveys, installation of a 36" 105km offshore gas pipeline, supply and installation of an offshore fiber optic cable, pre-commissioning activities and civil works at the landfalls in both Albania and Italy.

With an initial capacity of 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year, the 870km pipeline, which is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor project, will be connected to the Italian market via Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea.

Work under the contract is planned to commence in 2016.

Saipem will use its semisubmersible pipelay vessel Castoro Sei and the trench/pipelay barge Castoro 10 to undertake offshore installation works.

TAP will provide the coated offshore 36-inch line pipes, the anodes and the buckle arrestors.

TAP managing director Ian Bradshaw said: "While offshore construction raises specific challenges, Saipem’s robust technical bid, strong safety track record and experienced team of specialists reassure us that works will be executed to the highest standards and industry best practice."

Earlier, TAP selected Entrepose (Vinci Group) for the installation of three lots of onshore gas pipelines for the project.

The pipeline project partners include BP, SOCAR and Snam each holding 20% stake while other partners include Fluxys with 19% interest, Enagás 16% and Axpo 5%.

By 2020, the pipeline is expected to transport gas from the Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to the EU. The five-year project is estimated to cost €5.6bn.

Image: The TAP project will have an initial capacity of 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Photo: courtesy of VINCI Group.