Italy-based pipe-laying company Saipem has secured an offshore construction contract from Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

Under the agreement, Saipem will provide engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) support for the 36in offshore pipeline.

TAP’s pipeline across the Adriatic Sea, between the coastlines of Albania and southern Italy, will be approximately 105km in length and go down to 820m below sea level at the deepest point.

"TAP’s pipeline across the Adriatic Sea will be approximately 105km in length and go down to 820m below sea level at the deepest point."

TAP Ian Bradshaw managing director said: "I want to congratulate Saipem for securing this important assignment and thank all the companies that participated in this tender round.

"While offshore construction raises specific challenges, Saipem’s robust technical bid, strong safety track record and experienced team of specialists reassure us that works will be executed to the highest standards and industry best practice."

The contract includes provision for the associated civil works at the landfalls in both Albania and Italy, offshore pipeline installation, offshore fibre-optic cable supply and installation, as well as pre-commissioning and survey activities.

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The deal will see TAP supply coated offshore line pipes, the anodes and buckle arrestors for the project.

Designed to expand the capacity from ten to 20 billion cubic metres per year, the pipeline is expected to open up Southern Gas Corridor to increase Europe’s energy security. It will also support the creation of a national Gas Master Plan (GMP) as part of the cooperation with the Albanian Government.