Baar, Switzerland. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) announced today that it has commenced its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process in Greece. The submission of its Scoping Report to the Greek authorities comes after similar moves in Albania and Italy earlier this year and will follow the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development guidelines, recognised as the benchmark for international best practice
Submission of the Scoping Report represents an additional voluntary activity beyond the requirements of the Greek Environmental Impact Assessment process. The provision of the Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIA) to the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) is the first formal, legal step in the process and is planned by the end of July 2011. Following verification that the PEIA contains all necessary information, MECCC will distribute the document to the appropriate authorities for their consideration and comments. The ESIA process is conducted in full accordance with both Greek and EU legislation.
The result of extensive route refinement studies undertaken between 2010 and 2011, the Scoping Report provides a description of TAP’s preferred route, including potential environmental and social impacts and their mitigation measures. In particular, special consideration has been given to the avoidance of sensitive natural habitats.
The pipeline will start at a tie-in point with the existing gas network near Nea Mesimvria in Central Macedonia and will extend approximately 185 km to the Greek/Albanian border, crossing into Albania northwest of Dipotamia. The route will cross the regions of Central and West Macedonia and will pass through a total of eleven municipalities: Chalkidona, Alexandreia, Naousa, Edessa, Skydra, Amyntaio, Pella, Eordea, Kastoria, Nestorio and Orestida.
During the pre-scoping phase TAP consulted with a wide variety of stakeholders. These included national, regional, municipal and local government authorities, local communities and NGOs, all of whom had the chance to review the project and provide feedback at an early stage. Stakeholders along the preferred route will have further opportunities to discuss its potential impact during the voluntary scoping consultation in June 2011, and subsequently throughout the project’s development. Once the PEIA is submitted an additional disclosure procedure, as required by Greek and European legislation, will then be performed.
The Scoping Report is accessible to other stakeholders and the general public through the TAP website.
Rikard Scoufias, TAP’s Country Manager in Greece, commented:
“Today’s submission is an important step towards the realisation of the TAP project and reflects the huge amount of preliminary engineering work and stakeholder consultation that we have already carried out in Greece. We thank all stakeholders for their invaluable contribution and are pleased to confirm that the pipeline remains on schedule to be operational in time for the first gas from Shah Deniz II in 2017.”
Martin Ferguson, Health, Safety and Environment Director at TAP, added:
“The Scoping Report is both a summary of the extensive work we have carried out so far in establishing our preferred route and a description of the activities we will undertake next in our ESIA process. During the route refinement work we analysed a number of options with the help of a wide variety of specialists including engineers, environmental scientists and archaeological experts, and also consulted with authorities and communities along the proposed routes. We used this information to establish the route which we believe has the lowest environmental and social impact. We will now study this route in more detail and will continue to consult all those affected so that any concerns can be properly addressed. Our next step is to describe our progress to the Greek authorities by formally submitting a Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIA) as required by Greek legislation.”
Once feedback on the Scoping and Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIA) Reports has been received and taken on board, TAP intends to submit the full ESIA Report to the Greek authorities in the first quarter of 2012. The management anticipate receiving official approval towards the fourth quarter of 2012.
Lisa Givert, Head of Communications, mobile: +41 79 536 6016, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scoping Report for ESIA in English and Greek is available for download here
How to provide comments on the Scoping Report for the ESIA
Any individual or group that has an interest in the TAP project is invited to download the Scoping Report and submit their comments. Comments should be provided by 15th of August.
By email: email@example.com
By post: Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG – Greece (Branch Office), 21st Floor, Athens Tower, 2-4 Messogion Ave.,11527 Athens, Greece.
By fax: + 30 210 7454300
About the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (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 depending on throughput. The TAP project also envisages physical reverse flow of up to 80 per cent of its capacity 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 EGL of Switzerland (42.5%), Norway’s Statoil (42.5%) and E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany (15%).