CNBC – Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will inaugurate the start of construction for the TransAdriatic Pipeline (TAP) in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece on Tuesday. Official representatives of the European Union and U.S. State Department as well as high ranking officials from Greece, Turkey, Albania, Italy and Bulgaria will attend the ceremony.
TAP will transport Azeri gas extracted in the Caspian, to western Europe through Greece and Albania over a distance of 2,174 miles. The first delivery of Azerbaijani gas is scheduled for early 2020.
It is expected that construction of the pipeline will employ 150 Greek companies as contractors, subcontractors or track support, and about 8,000 workers.
The rival Interconnector Turkey Greece Italy (ITGI) Poseidon pipeline scheme to supply more Russian gas to Europe was shelved in 2012 after it lost out to TAP. Gazprom is now trying to get this project revived. It would consist of an offshore pipeline that will connect the Greek and Italian natural gas transportation systems. The capacity of the pipeline would be 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year.
It is expected that during his visit to Athens on May 28 Russian President Vladimir Putin will seek to gain support for the Poseidon pipeline.