BAAR, Switzerland, March 25 (UPI) -- Getting front-end engineering and design work done for the planned Trans-Adriatic Pipeline keeps the project in line with Azeri developments, an executive said.
TAP announced it completed its FEED work to get the 497-mile natural gas pipeline through Greece to Italy started.
The BP-led consortium working in the Shah Deniz natural gas field offshore Azerbaijan is expected by June to choose between TAP and the larger Nabucco West projects for European markets.
"Once again, TAP has hard facts to prove that our project is on schedule and fully aligned with the Shah Deniz development," TAP Managing Director Kjetil Tungland said in a statement Monday.
TAP and Nabucco West are parts of a European program meant to add diversity to a natural gas market that depends heavily on Russia.
Tungland said the project company aims to start work on development contracts with steel manufacturers and contractors with the goal of building the pipeline in 2014.
If selected, he said the pipeline would start operations in 2018, "in time for the first gas coming on stream from Shah Deniz II in Azerbaijan."