Initial TAP market test justifies capacity boost to 20 bcm

The results of a non-binding, first-round market test concerning a possible capacity boost of the TAP pipeline, to bring Azeri natural gas to Europe via a northern Greece crossing, justify an increase from 10 bcm to 20 bcm.

The TAP consortium, along with Greek gas grid operator DESFA and Italy’s Snam, issued the market test’s results yesterday, as was scheduled.

Procedures for a second-round market test, whose result will determine whether a pipeline capacity increase will be carried out, and if so, its extent, are already underway. A final decision is expected within the first half of 2020.

The TAP consortium, SRG (Snam Rate Gas) and DESFA are launching a Coordinated Design Phase today as part of the second-round procedure.

During this phase, expected to last 12 weeks and be completed by January 13, 2020, TSOs (operators) will prepare further technical studies related to the capacity boost so that the project’s budget and construction schedule can be revised.

Interested parties will then be invited to declare capacity reservations.

The TAP project, approaching completion, promises to directly meet transportation needs for Azeri natural gas towards southern Europe and also offer reverse-flow capabilities from Europe.