5 April 2019
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline's (TAP) first offshore pipelines in Albanian waters have been successfully laid.
The TAP project, set to be operational by 2020, will transport natural gas from Greece, via Albania on to Italy. The pipeline will form part of a larger network of gas pipelines known as the Southern Gas Corridor, which will transport Azerbaijani gas through Turkey to Europe and is part of the European Commission's strategy to reduce European dependence on Russian gas.
The project's engineering, procurement, construction and installation contractor for the offshore section of the project, Saipem, used its pipelay barge "Castoro 10" to carry out the work. Steel pipes were welded together onboard the vessel, which was located 1.4 km from the shore. The welded pipes were then tested and lowered onto the seabed.
The first 1.8 km of welded pipeline was pulled ashore at the landfall near the city of Fier in southwest Albania.
TAP began construction works for the offshore pipeline section in October 2018. The offshore section, linking the Albanian and the Italian coasts, is 105 km long.
Of the pipes to be laid on the Adriatic seabed, 37 km will be in Albanian territorial waters, 25 km in Italian and 43 km in international waters.
The deepest point of the pipeline will be more than 810 metres beneath sea level. Approximately 9,000 pipes, with a 36-inch diameter, will be used, weighing approximately 100,000 tonnes in total.