Working in the midst of a ravaging global pandemic, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG successfully completed the 105 km long offshore section of the pipeline across the Adriatic Sea. This milestone, in a highly challenging environment, includes several deliverables, such as the offshore installation of 36-inch pipes by Castoro Sei, Saipem’s semi-submersible pipelaying vessel, the above-water-tie-in with the onshore infrastructure in Albanian waters, as well as hydrotesting the asset to ensure it is safe and ready for operations.
Luca Schieppati, TAP Managing Director, said: “Completing the offshore pipeline section marks another key milestone towards the finalisation of our project. Once operational, TAP will bring a new source of natural gas to Europe, supporting decarbonisation, energy security and diversification. I am proud that these technically complex works have been conducted in line with the highest health and safety standards.”
Approximately 9000 pipes of 36-in. diameter have been used for TAP’s offshore section, weighing circa 100 000 t in total. The pipes have been laid on the Adriatic seabed: 25 km in Italian territorial waters, 43 km in international waters and 37 km in Albanian territorial waters.
The deepest point of the pipeline is approximately 810 m beneath sea level. Saipem’s Castoro Sei laid an average of 1.2 km pipes per day, reaching a peak of 2.8 km in a single day.
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea to Europe. The 878 km long pipeline connects with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border in Kipoi, crosses Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
First gas deliveries to Europe via TAP will start by the end of 2020. Its routing can facilitate gas supply to several South Eastern European countries and landfall in Italy provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian gas to the wider European markets.