The Trans Adriatic Pipeline has been designed to deliver Caspian natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe

Line pipes Trans Adriatic Pipeline

Image: Offloading of line pipes of Trans Adriatic Pipeline in Albania. Photo: courtesy of Trans Adriatic Pipeline.

BP and its partners have launched the initial stage of commissioning of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), an 878km long multi-country natural gas pipeline in Europe.

In this regard, the first natural gas has been introduced by the partners into a 2km long section of the pipeline between the Evros River and the Kipoi compressor station in Greece.

According to the pipeline’s holding company, the initial stage of commissioning process is to ensure that the infrastructure is completely safe and ready for operations after the completion of the process to meet national and international safety and operational standards.

Trans Adriatic Pipeline operations director Ricardo Ruiz Nuñez said: “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.”

To be laid between the Turkish-Greek border and Italy, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline secured €3.9bn in project financing from public and private lenders to reach financial close in January 2019. The pipeline, which will also traverse 105km in the Adriatic Sea, has been designed to deliver Caspian natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe.

Trans Adriatic Pipeline expected to begin commercial operations in October 2020

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which will serve various South Eastern European countries, is slated to begin commercial gas delivery starting from October 2020. The pipeline is part of the $40bn Southern Gas Corridor, which is a 3,500km long gas value chain that spans from the Caspian Sea to Europe.

After the commissioning of the first section is completed, gas will continue to be introduced gradually into other sections of the Greek part of the pipeline and beyond in Albania and Italy in the coming weeks and months, said the pipeline holding company.

Trans Adriatic Pipeline project director John Haynes 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.”

BP, which has a stake of 20% in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, is partnered by SOCAR and Snam, which also hold stakes of 20% each, and Fluxys, Enagás and Axpo, which own stakes of 19%, 16% and 5%, respectively.