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TAP introduces first natural gas into Greek section of pipeline

Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) has introduced the first natural gas into a 2km section of the pipeline in Greece, situated between the Evros River and the Kipoi compressor station.

The introduction of gas is the initial stage of the pipeline commissioning process, which aims to ensure that the infrastructure is safe and ready for operations, in line with national and international standards.

Introducing natural gas into the pipeline system is another milestone towards the start of Shah Deniz II gas deliveries to Europe. Commercial gas flows through TAP are due to commence in October 2020 when the entire asset is to be commissioned and tested.

“Safety is our number one priority and we have prepared thoroughly for this important step,” commented Ricardo Ruiz Nuñez, operations director for TAP. “We are starting the introduction of natural gas into the system in line with our commitment to safety, environment and quality standards. TAP implemented a Start Up Readiness Assurance Programme, which verified that all aspects of construction, commissioning, start-up and business requirements were in place prior to the introduction of natural gas. Our Operational Readiness Programme ensured that our staff and contractors were fully trained prior to the commencement of this important activity and will continue to be our foundation as we bring gas further into Greece and beyond.”

John Haynes, TAP project director, added: “More than three and a half years since the start of construction, 46 million man-hours worked safely and 128 million kilometres driven without any major incidents, we are pleased to have the pipeline system progressively ready for the complex commissioning phase. We would like to thank our network of contractors, subcontractors and partners who have shared our commitment to safety and high industry standards and who contributed to TAP reaching this important milestone.”

“The upcoming months will be key in ensuring the pipeline is commissioned and progressively tested to be ready for October 2020 for operations and the start of commercial gas deliveries to Europe,” concluded Luca Schieppati, managing director of TAP. “In parallel, we are preparing for commercial operations as a Transmission System Operator and an Independent Transmission Operator. It has been an exciting journey and we look forward to bringing a new source of gas into Europe by means of a new route, contributing to a more diversified and secure energy mix.”

Following commissioning of this first section, gas will continue to be gradually introduced into other section of the Greek pipeline and beyond, in Albania and Italy. The TAP pipeline, which forms part of the Southern Gas Corridor connecting the Caspian Sea to Europe, will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route.