TAP Discloses ESIA Report to Local Communities in Albania
As part of its stakeholder engagement activities, TAP is disclosing the contents of the ESIA report to the local communities in Albania. Residents of areas potentially affected by the pipeline are invited to provide their views and comments, which will be incorporated in the project development.
The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a natural gas pipeline project. The TAP pipeline will transport gas from Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further to western Europe. TAP will enter Albania from Greece at Bilisht Qender in Korça region. The landfall will be located in the coastal area north of Fier.
After several years of route selection and refinement in Albania, TAP has completed its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and is preparing to submit the document to the Albanian authorities. The ESIA process has been carried out and the report drafted by a group of Albanian and international experts in accordance with the Albanian law and in compliance with the Environmental and Social Policy of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The objective of the ESIA is to assess the potential impacts of the project on the environment, cultural heritage and socio-economic resources and to design measures to avoid, reduce or mitigate negative impacts.
In this framework, TAP is now disclosing the ESIA document to all affected communities along the pipeline route to make sure that views of local stakeholders on impacts and mitigation measures can be incorporated in the pipeline project development.
The TAP team will organise 22 ESIA disclosure meetings in Albania in the coming weeks. The meetings with local communities started on the 19th November in the eastern Albania (Korça District) and they will finish on the 7th of December in western Albania (Fier District). On December 8th, TAP will also organise a meeting with NGOs in Tirana.
TAP started its official ESIA submission process in Albania in April 2011 by submitting the ESIA Scoping Report to the Albanian authorities. TAP is preparing to submit its full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Report at the beginning of 2013.
Albert Haak, TAP’s Country Manager for Albania, said: “TAP is committed to open and transparent communication. We are looking forward to present this important document to the communities in Albania and to listen to their feedback. It is important for us to develop this pipeline in continuous dialogue with them, making sure that all concerns are addressed and all questions are answered.”
TAP proposed route in Albania
TAP’s route in Albania was identified during extensive pipeline route refinement studies in 2009-2012. In particular, special consideration was given to the avoidance of sensitive natural habitats.
TAP pipeline in Albania will be about 209 km long onshore and 60 km offshore in the Albanian section of the Adriatic Sea.
TAP will be one of the largest foreign direct investments in Albania and it will help to develop the country’s energy infrastructure and thereby foster economic growth by creating employment and developing local skills.
TAP is waiting to be selected as the preferred gas transportation solution by Shah Deniz Consortium in Azerbaijan in 2013. Once the final investment decision on the pipeline is made and all necessary approvals received, TAP will start the construction (expected in 2015).
Press Release, November 21, 2012