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TAP’s construction at full gallop in Greece

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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TAP is currently the largest construction project in the country and it is neither a Metro nor a Railway project.  Trans Adriatic Pipeline, which is part of Europe’s Southern Natural Gas supply corridor is an energy project in full progress.

The project’s budget is as high as 4.5bn euros with its biggest section being constructed in Greece, thus accouting for a 1.5bn-euro investment. Its starting point is in Azerbaijan (Shah Deniz Field), runs across Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and, through an underwater pipeline, reaches Italy to its Western end supplying the local market (operated by Snam Rete Gas) or being distributed through the network to Central and Northern Europe.

Construction works officially started on May 17th, 2016 with the presence of the Greek PM, Alexis Tsipras along and representatives from all involved countries, in a ceremony held in Thessaloniki’s Port. The project’s completion is set for 2020.

The pipeline will be running for 550 km on Greek soil, starting from the Greek-Turkish borders (Kipoi Evrou) on the East all the way to Ieropighi (Greek-Albanian borders) on the West.

The project’s technical characteristics, apart from its considerable overall length, are impressive. In Albania, the pipeline will have a length of 215 km before submerging in the Mediterranean. Italy’s pipeline length will be just 8 km, which will, essentially, be the connection to the Italian, receiving terminal.

The progress and benefits

Katerina Mouzouraki, Communications Manager for TAP in Greece, told Ypodomes.com: “We’ve already reached the 10th month of construction works and we are very satisfied with the project’s progress. More than 60% of the 32.000 pipes has been already delivered to the central distribution stations in Thessaloniki, Kavala and Alexandroupoli while 240 km of the construction zone have been designated.”

Mrs Mouzouraki said that the construction works will be completed by 2019 in all 3 countries along with the underwater section. She also added that, TAP will contribute millions of euros in the Greek State in the form of taxes and through inviting bigger investments in the country due to the infrastructure’s importance. It is also very instructive in terms of know-how and skills enrichment for the Greek companies, as TAP constitutes a positive challenge for them.

The project is expected to be particularly beneficial for the regions of Thrace and Macedonia and has already created better employment prospects on the construction stage (currently more than 2,000 people working on the project) both directly and indirectly while it is estimated that it will contribute to the establishment of numerous permanent roles after is completion as well. TAP is clearly a project with multiple benefits, stimulating a stable growth  for the local societies of Northern Greece.

 

Nikos Karagiannis-ypodomes.com

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