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Pipeline group offers assessment to Italy

March 22, 2012 at 10:27 AM

ROME, March 22 (UPI) -- An environmental and social impact assessment for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline was submitted to Italian authorities, the project company announced.

The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline aims to bring natural gas from the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan to European consumers through Greece, Albania and Italy. The Italian section consists of a 3-mile onshore section and a 28-mile offshore section.

"The submission of the ESIA to the Italian authorities is an important step forward in the realization of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline," Martin Ferguson, health, safety and environment director at TAP, said in a statement.

The company said it plans to use "micro-tunneling technology" to bore the hole for the pipeline under a protected sea grass habitat and beneath the coastline to avoid any geological damage.

The environmental report was prepared in accordance with Italian and European policies. Ferguson said he was confident all necessary permits would be granted as early as 2017.

TAP is expected to carry as much as 353 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year.

In February, a consortium controlling Shah Deniz chose TAP as a possible route to European natural gas consumers.

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