TAP Starts Seabed Survey Offshore Albania

TAP Starts Seabed Survey Offshore Albania

On the 23rd of February the Trans Adriatic Pipeline started a nearshore survey north of Vlore in south-eastern Albania. The purpose is to collect samples of the seabed soil near the Albanian coast along the planned route of the natural gas pipeline, which plans to bring Caspian gas to southern Italy.

TAP will conduct seabed survey for the Albanian nearshore section of the TAP pipeline in the Adriatic Sea using two working barges with support vessels. The barge with a crane (“Isola di Lussino”) will survey the top layers of soil, while the jack-up platform (“Skate IV”) will collect samples from deeper layers up to a depth of 20 meters. The samples are studied both in an offshore laboratory on the platform, and in an onshore laboratory for advanced testing.

Both working barges will be moving very slowly at a distance of 3-5 km from the shore. The vessels will be visible from the shore; they will remain in the area for about 2-3 weeks depending on the weather conditions.

TAP has recently concluded a similar seabed survey in the Adriatic Sea in Italy near San Foca.

The nearshore survey is conducted for research purposes only and does not pose any risk to the environment or safety of the residents on the Albanian coast. Local fishermen are requested to use caution and respect a safety zone of approximately 500 metres away from the vessels.

The subsea survey is carried out by the TAP project with the support of sub-contractor D’Appolonia, an Italian leader in engineering with core competencies in civil, geotechnical, and environmental engineering; geology and geophysics; and hydrology and hydraulics.

Albert Haak, TAP’s Country Manager for Albania, said: “The marine survey is carried out according to the highest international standards on environment and safety. TAP has received all necessary permits to perform for this work from all relevant port authorities and Ministries, including Ministry of Environment. The comprehensive analysis of the seabed is necessary for TAP in order to decide on the exact offshore routing of the pipeline and also for further pipeline engineering work.”

TAP proposed route in Albania

TAP route in Albania was identified during extensive pipeline route refinement studies in 2009-2010. In particular, special consideration was given to the avoidance of sensitive natural habitats. As a direct result, TAP will bypass the Hotova National Park and the Vjosa river valley.

Entering from Greece at Miras in the Korça region, the Albanian section of the route stretches a total of 209km to the coast, north-west of Fier. The offshore section of TAP’s Albanian offshore section will be 60km in length, crossing the Adriatic Sea entering southern Italy near San Foca.

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 started its official Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) submission process in Albania in April 2011 by submitting the Scoping Report to the Albanian authorities. TAP is preparing to submit its full Environmental and Social Impact Assesment Report in June 2012.

Construction of the pipeline is expected to start in 2015, should TAP be selected as the preferred gas transportaiton solution by Shah Deniz Consortium.

Source: Trans Adriatic Pipeline, February 23, 2012


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