The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) taking gas from Azerbaijan to Europe will pump the first gas into Italy at the start of 2020 despite local protests against the 4.5-billion-euro project, TAP’s president told Reuters.
“We are on track to deliver the gas in the first quarter of 2020,” Walter Peeraer said in an interview.
TAP, the end piece of the $40 billion Southern Gas Corridor, is slated to bring up to 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas from the giant Azeri Shah Deniz II field into the small Italian seaside town of San Foca in the southern Apulia region by 2020.
But opposition from the local town council and the regional authority, as well as ongoing clashes between “no TAP” protesters and police, has caused delays and raised concerns the project could miss deadlines or even be rerouted.
EDF unit Edison and Greece’s Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) have plans to bring in Mediterranean gas through the EastMed pipeline to the Puglia resort of Otranto. Peeraer said the landfall site, which had been chosen from 20 other locations for its minimal environmental impact, would not be changed.
Such a move could put the project back four to five years, he said.
“The commitment is to transport about 8 to 10 bcm to Italian shores. Rerouting through Albania is not an option. There is no plan B,” he said.
The 870-kilometer pipeline will link the Shah Deniz II field with Italy, crossing Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea.
It is the biggest attempt so far to bring new supply sources to European consumers.