ECONOMY

TAP plans to compensate land owners by consent

The Greek section of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the biggest-ever energy project to come through Greece, will cross 18,000 properties, 80 percent of which are agricultural plots, calling for a method of consensual concession to be sought.

The strategy of the consortium that is to build the 543 kilometers of the natural gas pipeline that will span northern Greece concerns both the compensation paid to property owners and a campaign to inform local communities.

The aim, as TAP Greece manager Rikard Skoufias told reporters on Wednesday, is to avoid the legal yet contentious process of forced appropriations of land, seeking consensual solutions instead. This is why the company will begin separate talks with each owner and user of land on which the pipeline will be constructed for the payment of compensation, which will be done in advance, “in a fair and transparent fashion.” The forced use of the land will be the last resort, said Skoufias.

The company’s plan is for a team of 200 members to seek out all the property owners and for the first compensation agreements to be signed in 2014 for the project’s construction to start in 2015.