The installation of the turbo compressors was marked by a ceremony attended by H.E. Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of Albania, Mr. Damian Gjiknuri, the Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Mr. Arben Ahmetaj, the Minister of Finance and Economy, Mr. Luca Schieppati, TAP Managing Director, Mr. Walter Peeraer, TAP President, Mr. John Haynes, TAP Project Director, and Mr. Michele Elia, TAP’s Country Manager Albania Ad-interim. Participants also included numerous mayors, representatives of local authorities, diplomatic corps and other key stakeholders.
Prime Minister Rama underlined the strong collaboration between TAP and Albania. “The Albanian authorities’ speedy delivery of permits will encourage additional foreign direct investment,” Mr. Rama noted. According to the Head of Albanian Government, “TAP is a success story and, as such, its example leads to other investments in energy projects, including IAP. In fact, TAP’s example has already encouraged several other international companies to show interest and invest in the oil & gas sector in Albania.” Branding TAP as a “reference project for other investors,” Mr. Rama concluded that despite the complexity of procedures at times “TAP was fully compliant with Albanian legal requirements.”
The Infrastructure and Energy Minister Gjiknuri emphasised the importance of TAP for the economy and its strategic significance for the future of the country. According to the Minister, “TAP will have a positive impact on the country’s gasification and its energy sector in general.” The Minister stated that “TAP was the first energy project of this scale to be implemented in Albania and its progress was impressive.” Speaking about TAP’s positive impact on the country, Minister Gjiknuri highly appreciated “the tangible know-how transfer” that both the Albanian workforce and local companies have gained through their engagement with the Project.
TAP Managing Director Luca Schieppati said that today’s event marked another milestone for Albania’s energy journey. “We believe that TAP will become a key element for this future journey, contributing to energy security, diversification and decarbonisation. Benefiting from the continued support of the Albanian Government, local authorities and local communities, TAP will continue to progress, delivering a modern, safe and robust pipeline, supporting the delivery of new gas in the country and beyond.”
TAP Project Director John Haynes added: “We’re one step closer to completing the project and bringing gas to Europe. TAP’s compressor station in Fier is the most important above ground installation in Albania and Fier will be one of TAP’s exit points planned in Albania. This will also be the starting point of the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP), which further elevates the strategic importance of Fier and Albania in the wider region.”
TAP’s Country Manager Albania Ad-interim Michele Elia stated that he “wanted to thank the Albanian central and local governments for being very supportive to TAP and all TAP and contractors’ employees for their challenging work towards delivering the pipeline in line with schedule and applying the highest safety standards.”
The event participants had the possibility to see the turbo compressors first-hand and understand some of the challenges tackled during the construction of the compressor station in Fier.
The Fier compressor station area measures 162,970 m2, which equals approximately 25 football pitches. Construction works are due to be completed in March 2019 and the compressor station is expected to be ready for operation in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Facts & Figures
Capacity when finished
- For the initial stage (2020), the system capacity can supply approximately 10 bcm/a (billion cubic metres annually) of natural gas, equivalent to the energy consumption of approximately seven million households in Europe.
- The pipeline capacity could double to 20 bcm/a (future expansion), using the same pipeline infrastructure, by adding compression facilities.
- The most technically complex parts of the compressor stations are the three compressor & gas turbine trains (the “heart” of the facility) supplied by SIEMENS.
- The compressors are centrifugal, able to compress gas up to 145 bar, from an inlet pressure of 59 bar.
- Each compressor is driven by a gas turbine which uses the natural gas coming from the pipeline as fuel.
- The installed power of each of the 3 compressors in the station is 15 MW, which is the power of approx. 26 Formula 1 cars (nominal power).
Materials used for ACS03:
- Earthworks – 320,000 m3 (approximately 17,800 truckloads)
- Stone piles – 4,687 columns (57,000 m3)
- Concrete – 11,300 m3 (approximately 1,300 truckloads)
- Piping – 2,115,000 kg
- Electrical Cables – 140 km (from Tirana to Vlora)
- Instrumentation Cables – 190 km (from Tirana to Shkodra and back)
Employment at ACS03 (construction plus site management):
- Currently 210 employees and expected to peak at 250+ from July 2018 through into 2019.
- 70% of the workforce is locally employed.
- In addition, offsite activities within Albania (producing pipe and steel equipment) led to additional indirect jobs. More than 100 people within Albanian companies in Fieri, Tirana, Elbasani and Korça are employed for the delivery of these goods.
- Albanian subcontractors: Vagalat, Gjoka, Heko, Elmazaj, APM, Albaelettrica and Renco.
About the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)
TAP will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Europe. The 878km 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, including Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and others. TAP’s landfall in Italy provides multiple opportunities for further transport of Caspian natural gas to some of the largest European markets such as Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland and Austria.
TAP will promote the economic development and job creation along the pipeline route; it will be a major source of foreign direct investment and it is not dependent on grants or subsidies. With first gas sales to Georgia and Turkey targeted for late 2018, first deliveries to Europe will follow in 2020.
TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam S.p.A. (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).
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