The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG is pleased to announce that on Thursday, 27 April 2017 it successfully completed its first hydrotest. Also known as hydrostatic testing, this is a method for verifying a pipeline’s safety after it has been built. The pipeline is filled with water and pressurised more than its intended operating pressure, so as to test its integrity and ensure its safe performance during operation.
The hydrotest was applied to the pipeline’s first 1.4 km of the Greek section. It is a very significant step in the construction process, since it technically affirms the pipeline’s safety, which is identified as the project’s number one priority. Following this successful start, additional parts of the pipeline will be gradually tested until the end of the year.
Commenting on the first hydrostatic testing of the pipeline, TAP’s Country Manager for Greece, Rikard Scoufias hailed it as a big step that marks yet another important milestone in the construction process, as the project advances according to schedule. Almost a year after the Inauguration Ceremony held in May 2016, construction has significantly progressed in two of the three Northern Greek Prefectures to be traversed by the pipeline: Eastern Macedonia-Thrace and Central Macedonia.
More specifically, as of end-April 2017, out of the total 550 km of pipeline to be built on Greek soil, TAP’s contractors have already
• received more than 66% of the 32,000 line pipes to be used for the construction of the pipeline’s Greek section;
• cleared and graded 270 km of the project’s route (Right of Way);
• strung 234 km of pipeline;
• welded 203 km of the mainline.
At the same time
• 165 km of trench have been opened;
• 134 km of pipeline have been lowered into the trench;
• 115 km of pipeline has been backfilled; and
• 21 km of land is being reinstated.
As construction progresses, the direct benefits arising for the country, its economy, and local communities thanks to the project’s implementation are also gradually becoming more evident:
• Presently, there are more than 2,500 people working for the project in Greece, out of which ca. 400 are archaeologists and specialised archaeological workers.
• 2 out of the 5 Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors operating in the TAP project are Greek companies, namely TERNA S.A. in a joint venture with Renco S.p.A. and J&P AVAX in a joint venture with Bonatti S.p.A., while AKTOR has been selected by French contractor Spiecapag as its subcontractor. Also, CORINTH PIPEWORKS S.A. has been awarded a major contract by TAP for the procurement of line pipes.
• The project is investing millions in the procurement of goods and services, collaborating with multiple domestic partners. Overall, 176 companies operating in Greece have already been involved in the implementation of the project, reaping both financial benefits and invaluable expertise.
With regard to the €32 million socio-environmental investment (SEI) programme TAP has voluntarily committed to implementing, it must be noted that 44 such initiatives have already been concluded in all 3 Northern Greek Prefectures, their total value amounting to more than €850,000. As per TAP’s SEI strategy and its selection pillars, already implemented initiatives include:
• 27 projects supporting improved quality of life for local residents;
• 6 projects enhancing the livelihoods of communities located along the routing of the pipeline;
• 6 projects enabling the cultivation of improved skills and abilities via education and training;
• and 5 projects improving environmental management.