Complex gas value chain
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the most complex gas value chains ever developed in the world. Stretching over 3,500 kilometres, crossing seven countries and involving more than a dozen major energy companies, it is comprised of several separate energy projects representing a total investment of approximately US$45 billion:
- The Shah Deniz 2 development, drilling wells and producing gas offshore in the Caspian Sea.
- Expansion of the natural gas processing plant at the Sangachal Terminal on the Caspian Sea coast in Azerbaijan.
- Three pipeline projects:
- Expansion of the Italian gas transmission network.
- Possibilities for further connection to gas networks in South Eastern, Central and Western Europe
Energy markets Caspian gas can reach through TAP
To ensure that the Southern Gas Corridor fulfils its purpose, it is essential that Caspian gas reaches many different European markets and consumers.
TAP’s design offers various connection options to a number of existing and proposed pipelines along its route. This would enable the possible delivery of Caspian gas to destinations throughout Europe:
- TAP will connect to the Italian natural gas grid operated by Snam Rete Gas, from which all Italian gas exit points to European destinations can be reached.
- Austria and Central Europe: natural gas transported via TAP can reach the Central European gas hub in Baumgarten, Austria via the Trans Austria Gas (TAG) pipeline, using swaps and reverse flow.
- Germany and France via Switzerland: using reverse flow through the Transitgas pipeline.
- United Kingdom: grid operators Snam Rete Gas and Fluxys have agreed to develop physical reverse flow capabilities between Italy and the UK by interconnecting the gas markets of Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, enabling Caspian gas to reach the UK.
- Bulgaria: TAP can provide a new source of gas by linking to existing and planned pipeline infrastructure, including reverse flow through an interconnector to the Kula-Sidirokastro line, and/or a proposed connection with the planned Interconnector Greece Bulgaria (IGB) pipeline.
- South East Europe: Caspian gas could be flowing to growing markets in the Balkans and South East Europe that are currently dependent on a single gas supplier. TAP is cooperating with the developers of the planned Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP) to discuss connection possibilities to markets without gas in Southern Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Southern Gas Corridor is a major component of EU energy policy. TAP’s role in realising that vision will not only provide economic benefits. It will also ensure that one of the continent’s vital energy routes remains viable for decades to come.