TAP refines pipeline routing through Greece

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Jan. 28 -- TAP AG, owner of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project, is refining the pipeline’s routing in northern Greece. A field survey, started in November 2010 to select the route for the TAP gas pipeline with the least social, environmental, and cultural-heritage effects, will resume next month.

The survey team is inspecting five potential pipeline corridors in northern Greece, with a length of 500 km. The TAP requires 30 m of right-of-way on either side of the line, making it difficult to route through densely populated areas.

From November 21-28, 2010, a group of 35 specialists assessed whether TAP’s initial findings on the potential routes in Greece matched on-the-ground circumstance. The survey team comprised a multinational mix of engineers, geologists, sociologists, archaeologists, and environmental specialists, drawn from both TAP itself and consultants from Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, and the UK, as well as local experts from Greece.

The first phase of the project detailed the positives and negatives of the western section of the pipeline system, finding four of the five routes feasible options. TAP dismissed the fifth option due to its potential interference with lignite mines.

In February, TAP will deploy the survey team for a second phase, investigating the eastern section of the pipeline system. TAP’s management will use these finding to make a final route selection in March, for submission to regulatory authorities and stakeholders in April.

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and European Commission Pres. Jose Manuel Barroso signed a joint declaration on the establishment of a Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) after talks in Baku on Jan. 13 (OGJ Online, Jan. 19, 2011). TAP would fall into the SGC, as would the Turkey-Greece-Italy Interconnector, the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector, and the Nabucco pipeline project.

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

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