TAP Submits Updated ESIA in Italy

TAP Submits Updated ESIA in Italy

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP) submitted its updated Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to the Italian Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea. The latest stage in a process, started in March 2012, will now see the final documentation go to consultation with all relevant national, regional and local authorities.

  • Revised ESIA reflects feedback from the ongoing dialogue with administrative authorities and local communities
  • TAP to use world-class technologies and methods to protect people and environment
  • Investments planned for local social and environmental projects

In addition to the requirements of current Italian law – otherwise known as an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – TAP is committed to international standards established by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which also require an evaluation of the project’s social impact. The documentation submitted today analyses risks and opportunities linked to the pipeline project, considers its environmental and socio-economic and cultural heritage effects  and describes how any possible negative impacts will be mitigated or eliminated.

Replacing in full the document submitted in March 2012, the updated ESIA describes TAP’s new configuration in Italy, addressing comments received during extensive consultation. When selecting alternative routes for the pipeline, TAP representatives met local communities, administrative authorities and other stakeholders to listen to their views and answer any concerns, a process which is ongoing.

Among the main modifications to the project are:

  • Moving the landfall in San Foca, between San Basilio and Chicalinda beaches. The impact on the seashore will be avoided by boring an approximately 1500 metre-long microtunnel 10 metres underground; this will prevent damage  to the area’s protected Posidonia seagrass,  while also avoiding any visual impact or disturbance to the seashore and surrounding shrub land ecosystem, known as the ‘macchia Mediterranea’.
  • Reducing the size and optimising the location of the Pipeline Receiving Terminal (PRT) in Melendugno Municipality to an overall footprint of 12 hectares, of which only 3500 square metres will be occupied by buildings.
  • A significant reduction of the terminal’s CO² emissions through the use of electric boilers. This measure will bring CO² emissions, to just 0.6% of the Melendugno Municipality’s total emissions, according to Apulia Region official data. The electric boilers working with natural gas will function for no more that 2% of the total annual operating time of the PRT (estimated at 160 hours).
  • The reduction in the quantity and dimension of the PRT buildings, so that they conform with the typical configuration of local structures such as farm buildings, will lessen the terminal’s visual impact.

Giampaolo Russo, Country Manager of TAP’s Office in Italy, commented: “TAP has carried out a huge amount of work to ensure the creation of a project that could be completely safe, technically excellent and respectful of the Apulian environment and territory. During three years we carefully analysed the alternatives in Brindisi area and four macro-routes, but those options weren’t able to deliver a technically suitable and environmentally safe landfall. Our in-depth research then identified the best route and most suitable landfall in Melendugno Municipality. The new ESIA documentation has taken into account every comment we received, including the views expressed during meetings with citizens and local institutions.

LNG World News Staff, September 10, 2013

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