Pipeline safe for Greece, consortium says

Sept. 29, 2011 at 9:02 AM

BAAR, Switzerland, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- After submitting a preliminary environmental study to Greek authorities, Trans-Adriatic Pipeline consortium officials said the chosen route is the safest.

Authorities at the TAP consortium announced the submission of their preliminary environmental impact assessment to the Greek Environment Ministry.

Martin Ferguson, director of health, safety and environmental issues at TAP, in a statement, said the consortium was confident the selected route through Greece won't adversely affect communities along the pipeline.

"Protecting the environment and ensuring that our project brings positive social benefits are key considerations for TAP, as well as for the communities affected by the project," added Rikard Scoufias, TAP's country manager in Greece.

The Greek section of TAP measures roughly 289 miles.

TAP sent third-party access exemption applications to the host countries that would let the consortium enter into a ship-or-pay gas transportation agreement with shippers working in the Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan.

TAP would move natural gas from the Caspian region to European markets. It would start near Thessaloniki, Greece, go through the Adriatic Sea and reach shore in southern Italy.

TAP could come online by the time developers start shipping gas from Azerbaijan in 2017.

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