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TAP starts market test for future expansion of pipeline capacity

TAP starts market test for future expansion of pipeline capacity TAP/All Rights Reserved

TIRANA (Albania), July 2 (SeeNews) – The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) consortium said it launched a market test to allow natural gas shippers to express interest and later on secure access to new, long-term capacity in TAP.

The market test will be conducted in two phases: a non-binding phase, starting on  July 1 and a binding phase, expected to start earliest in the second quarter of 2020, TAP said in a press release late on Monday.

“Starting 2020, TAP plans to initially transport approximately 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, bringing a new source of gas to Europe. Yet, TAP is able to double its capacity to 20bcm/a, therefore, with the project now being more than 88% complete, we aim to ensure that the pipeline can expand in line with the future demand to transport gas into Europe,” TAP’s managing director, Luca Schieppati, said.

 “As completed segments of the pipeline are handed over for the commissioning phase of the project, we are focused on preparations for commercial operations as an independent transmission system operator and reliable service provider. We will be offering capacity products in line with the Capacity Allocation Mechanism Network Code,” head of commercial for TAP, Marija Savova, said.

As a highly strategic energy project for the European Union, TAP is recognised as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) by the EU Commission, the consortium recalled.

Connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at Greece's border with Turkey, TAP will stretch across northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before reaching Italy's coast where it will connect to the Italian natural gas network.

TAP is part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which also comprises the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) crossing Azerbaijan and Georgia, and TANAP.

The shareholders of TAP are BP, Azerbaijan’s state company Socar and Italy’s Snam with 20% each, Belgium’s Fluxys with 19%, Spain’s Enagas with 16% and Swiss-based Axpo with 5%.