The proposed Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will transport natural gas from Greece and Albania to across the Adriatic Sea to Italy’s southern Puglia region and into Western Europe. The pipeline will have a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters a year, with an expandable capacity of 20 bcm/year.
The onshore 48-inch pipe will have a wall thickness of 18 millimeters, and the 36-inch offshore pipe will have a wall thickness of 25-36 millimeters. The pipeline will weigh approximately 300,000 metric tons.
Two compressor stations will be constructed: one near Thessalonkiki, Greece and another on the Albanian coast. A third compressor station will be installed on the Greek-Albanian border to attain the maximum throughput of 20 bcm/year.
Tap will interconnect with the existing DESFA pipeline system in Greece, which is linked further to the East with systems in Turkey. It will secure access to supplies it has contracted in the Caspian Sea and Middle East gas-rich regions.
The offshore pipeline will be moored in more than 2,625 feet (800 meters) of water by a special vessel, S-type barge. According to TAP, joints of the 12-meter-long pipe will be welded to the pipeline string on the deck of the barge. The vessel will move forward while the pipe string gets laid to its rear in the water and follows a S-shaped curvature to the seabed. Special equipment will be used at the landfalls in Italy and Albania to ensure that the pipe is pulled ashore.
Construction of the project will begin in 2009, and the scheduled in-service date is 2012. The pipeline’s life span is estimated at 50 years.