Left to right: Katerina Papalexandri, TAP’s Country Manager for Greece | Luca Schieppati, TAP’s Managing Director | Walter Peeraer, TAP’s President | Sotirios Nikas, President and CEO of DESFA | Nikos Katsis, NNGS Operations Division Director
According to the agreement, DESFA will be responsible for the maintenance of TAP facilities along the 550km of the Greek section of the pipeline, extending from Kipoi in Evros close to the Greek-Turkish border, to Ieropigi, Kastoria, on Greece’s border with Albania. The maintenance agreement covers a period of five years, following the beginning of TAP’s commercial operation in 2020, while the contract also includes pre-operational support.
The agreement was welcomed by the leadership teams of both companies. Representing DESFA, its President and CEO, Sotirios Nikas, stated: "DESFA participates in one of the most significant energy projects currently implemented worldwide, assuming a role that is both exceptionally critical and active. This comes as an acknowledgement of the high level of expertise we have developed these past years. And it’s a very important day for DESFA, as an internationally recognised provider of non-regulated services. We are most pleased with the agreement signed today, as it will lead to the further utilisation of the experienced DESFA staff on the one hand, while also creating new and specialised jobs on the other, increasing significantly DESFA’s revenues from non-regulated services."
TAP’s Managing Director, Luca Schieppati, noted: "This is another milestone in the overall progress of the TAP project, which is already 82% complete. This agreement marks another step towards the completion of the project and the beginning of commercial operations in 2020. We would like to thank DESFA for their ongoing support and cooperation in reaching this stage and we look forward to continue working closely together with them in the future. Next steps for TAP include building the 105km offshore installation of the pipeline and the commissioning process."
And TAP’s President, Walter Peeraer, added: "With a few months to go until 2020, TAP is focused on operational readiness and the beginning of commercial operations. This agreement marks the start of a long-term collaboration with DESFA, whose support during TAP’s operational phase will be critical to safely delivering natural gas to Europe, thus securing and diversifying energy supplies."
About the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe. The 878 km long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.
TAP’s routing can facilitate gas supply to several South Eastern European countries. TAP’s landfall in Italy provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian natural gas to the wider European market.
TAP promotes economic development and job creation along the pipeline route; it is also a major source of foreign direct investment. With first gas to Georgia and Turkey now being delivered, first deliveries to Europe will follow in 2020.
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).
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About the Greek National Natural Gas System Operator (DESFA) SA
DESFA is responsible for the management, operation, maintenance and development of the National Natural Gas System (NNGS) of Greece. At the same time, its extensive experience and its manpower expertise, make DESFA the most suitable and reliable partner to participate in ongoing international energy projects in Southeastern Europe.
More about DESFA: www.desfa.gr