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Italian Ministry of Environment grants TAP additional nine months to submit ESIA application

17 December 2012

Il Ministero dell’Ambiente ha accordato a TAP la sospensione della procedura relativa alla procedura di Valutazione di Impatto Ambientale e Sociale (ESIA) per ulteriori nove mesi - fino al settembre 2013.

As part of its commitment to an open and transparent ESIA disclosure process, TAP launched a stakeholder consultation last year that has involved talking with as many local people as possible, including authorities, municipalities, and local citizens living in and around the area of Lecce and San Foca. The consultation has attracted significant interest and TAP is continuing to receive feedback from many of its stakeholders. Extending the ESIA submission date will enable TAP to continue this important dialogue.

Giampaolo Russo, TAP's Country Manager for Italy, said: “It is vital that TAP takes the necessary time to give appropriate consideration to all the comments received from our stakeholders. Delaying the ESIA application will give TAP additional time to continue this dialogue with all the authorities and local people in the region of Puglia with an interest in the project and to fully take their feedback into account. In the meantime, I would like to thank the Ministry of Environment and also the authorities in Puglia for their support and understanding and look forward to continuing our cooperation going forward.”

TAP submitted its ESIA application earlier in March this year to the Ministry of Environment. Following this, TAP voluntarily suspended its application in order to gather further information that had been requested, and rescheduled necessary work to take place outside of the summer months to respect San Foca’s main tourist season. TAP will now submit this additional information by the latest, in September 2013. 

TAP section in Italy

TAP’s Italian section will consist of a 45 km offshore pipeline and 5 km onshore underground pipeline stretching to a Pipeline Receiving Terminal (PRT) in the province of Lecce, near San Foca. At the PRT, TAP will tie-in with the Italian gas network, operated by Snam Rete Gas.

The current route of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, with a landfall in the province of Lecce, has been identified after three years of intensive field work in Italy. A group of Italian and international environmental, social and technical experts and engineering companies have analysed numerous alternatives and selected this route which avoids crossing environmentally sensitive areas and which minimises potential negative social or economic impacts.

About TAP

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is a natural gas pipeline project. The pipeline will transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy and further into Western Europe. The project is aimed at enhancing security of supply as well as diversification of gas supplies for the European markets. TAP will open a new so-called Southern Gas Corridor to Europe and establish a new market outlet for natural gas from the Caspian Sea.

The project is designed to expand transportation capacity from 10 to 20 bcm per year. TAP also envisages physical reverse flow of up to 80 per cent and the option to develop natural gas storage facilities in Albania to further ensure security of supply during any operational interruption of gas deliveries.

TAP’s shareholders are Axpo of Switzerland (42.5%), Norway’s Statoil (42.5%) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15%).

For further information, please contact:media@tap-ag.com

If you have a question or would like to know more about the TAP pipeline in Italy, please go to: www.conoscitap.it