The Italian government has approved the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which is designed to transport Azerbaijani Shah Deniz-2 gas to Europe, Reuters reported citing Puglia regional governor Nichi Vendola.
Vendola told reporters that the government had overruled objections from his regional government, which had opposed allowing a landing point near the town of Melendugno for environmental reasons.
“Cabinet has approved the TAP project with a landing point at Melendugno,” Vendola said.
The TAP project was selected by the consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development as the transportation route to the European markets. The approximately 870 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) near the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Statoil (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagás (16 percent) and Axpo (five percent). Construction of TAP is planned to begin in 2016. The initial capacity of TAP will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, but it can easily be expanded to 20 billion cubic meters per year as the new volumes of gas come on stream.
The first sales of Azerbaijani gas to Georgia and Turkey are targeted for late 2018, first deliveries to Europe will follow approximately a year later.