The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) has begun a formal Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process in Italy, following a similar move in Albania in April.
Following extensive route refinement studies undertaken from 2009-2011, the document details TAP’s preferred route. Having entered the country at the northern end of San Foca on the Adriatic coast, it will extend 21 km to the municipality of S. Donato di Lecce and the tie-in point with Snam Rete Gas, the Italian natural gas system operator. The pipeline’s length offshore will be 45 km within Italian waters from the Italian coast to the middle of the Straight of Otranto in the Adriatic Sea, and its diameter will be 42 inches, both onshore and offshore.
The Scoping Report describes possible environmental and social impacts of the chosen route and suitable mitigation measures. In particular, special consideration is given to avoiding sensitive natural habitats. Submission of the report is the first step of the ESIA process in Italy, which in conjunction with the Single Authorisation process, will give TAP all the necessary construction and operating permits.
Paolo Pasteris, TAP’s Country Manager Italy, said, “Our project is on schedule to obtain all the necessary authorizations and be operational in time for first gas from the Shah Deniz II development in 2017.”