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Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in Puglia, Italy


The Trans Adriatic Pipeline - TAP project is an infrastructure project for the construction of a pipeline that will transport natural gas coming from the fields of Shah Deniz II in Azerbaijan to the Italian coast for distribution in Europe. The pipeline is part of the larger project called the Southern Gas Corridor which includes the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans Caspian Gas Pipeline.

The pipeline will have an initial capacity of 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, but may be increased up to 20 billion cubic meters.

The project is considered of strategic importance by the European Commission and the Italian government, and supposedly aims at diversification of energy supplies. Yet it is vehemently opposed by many communities and local governments along the route. To give voice to the concerns about the pipeline the No TAP Committee was established, and with the support of local governments, continues to express concerns and opposition to the project.

Dissent against the pipeline stems from concerns about the impacts that such work can have on the environment and the local economy. There is also a higher level dissent based on the strategic role of the pipeline and on the funding mechanisms that could turn in costs for all citizens.

San Foca, the landfall location on the Italian coast, is a seaside locality based on tourism and fishing, in which nature and biodiversity are the engine of community life and local economy.

Environmental concerns are based on the presence, in the waters affected by the project, of coral reefs, Posidoniae seagrass, caves and in general a rich biodiversity that would be compromised. Also, that area is the destination for nesting by Caretta Caretta turtles. In addition, the pipeline, as in the project, will land near the St. Basil cliffs which are fragile cliffs that may be damaged by the maneuvers of drilling and installation of the pipeline. Finally, the connecting portion between the landing terminal and the PRT will cross an area with over 1900 olive trees to be removed, and it will pass in proximity (less than 100m) to houses.

There are also many concerns on the economic side for possible losses in the tourism and fisheries sectors as a result of the disruptions that may be brought by the construction of the pipeline.

Finally, health concerns have also been raised. The President of the Lecce Section of LILT (Italian League Against Cancer), Dr. Serravezza, expressed his concerns about the lack of a study on the health impact of the project in the TAP project documents . Some potential health aspects highlighted concern the fumes produced by depressurization of the central terminal of receipt, that would worsen the conditions of air pollution in Salento, already contaminated by residues from Taranto and Brindisi because of the winds that carry them in that area.

The project proposed by TAP has encountered numerous obstacles in its path.

The Committee has organized demonstrations, reports and briefings to the population. In 2011 together with the Municipality of Melendugno they submitted objections to the EIA to the Ministry of Environment.

The Chamber of Commerce of Bari has also been opposed to the project since 2010. This opinion was confirmed by the EIA Commission of Puglia Region in 2012 and the city council of Melendugno proposed a resolution to deny any permissions to the TAP company.

More recently, a new submission to the EIA Commission in the Puglia Region (January 2014) has again failed and the project in September 2014 received a final rejection by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.

Despite these obstacles and the many manifestations of dissent from the NO Tap Committee and from the population, the Ministry of Environment approved by Ministerial Decree, on September 11th 2014, the EIA for the TAP project.

To date, the Committee intends to appeal to the Administrative Court to challenge the EIA decree approved in September 2014.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in Puglia, Italy
State or province:Province of Lecce, Region Puglia
(municipality or city/town)Meledugno, San Foca
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict: 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Deforestation
Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:Natural Gas

Project Details and Actors

Project details:

The TAP pipeline will be a part, together with the Trans Caspian Gas Pipeline and the Trans Anatolian Pipeline, of the larger project of Southern Gas Corridor which will be used to supply the European market with alternatives to Russian gas.

The TAP pipeline, starting from the Greek - Turkish border, will be connected to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), and from there will pass through Greece, Albania, the Adriatic Sea till landing in San Foca in the municipality of Melendugno (Lecce), Italy.

The project has a total length of about 800 km of which the Italian section will consist of 45 km of offshore pipeline, and 8.2 km onshore and a Pipeline Receiving terminal (PRT) in the municipality of Melendugno, which is about 9 km from the landing point.

Once the pipeline reaches the PRT it must connect to the national SNAM with an arm extension of approximately 56 km. The connection will pass through the towns of Melendugno, Vernole, Castrì di Lecce, Lizzanello, Lecce, Torchiarolo, San Pietro Vernotico to reach the town of Mesagne near Brindisi. From Brindisi, with some modifications to the reception stations, the Azeri gas would then be distributed to northern Europe through a possible adjustment of the national network from Brindisi to Minerbio.

The pipeline will have an initial capacity of 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year, which may be increased up to 20 billion cubic meters.

The TAP consortium plans to start construction work on the pipeline in 2016 and begin operating the conduit for 2019.

The design idea of a gas pipeline linking the Azeri large fields with Europe has existed for a long time. Already in 2003, the EGL, now Axpo, had conducted feasibility studies for the project. In 2008 Statoil entered into a joint venture with EGL, creating TAP AG, for the management and construction of the pipeline.

In March 2009, Italy and Albania signed an inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in the field of electricity and gas.

Subsequently, in 2012 Italy, Greece and Albania signed in New York a memorandum of understanding for the construction of the pipeline. TAP thus began the marine surveys, by means of a platform in the water in front of San Foca, for the taking of samples and geotechnical analysis of soil.

The project presented by TAP received an initial rejection by both the EIA Commission of the Region of Puglia in 2012 and by the Ministry of Environment.

On September 10, 2013 TAP delivered a new project for the approval of the EIA to the Ministry of Environment.

On 14 January 2014, the EIA Commission of the Puglia Region rejected the new project.

Currently the project has received the approval of the EIA (with 48 prescriptions) from the Ministry of Environment through the decree DM-0000223 of 09/11/2014.

The next step will be to obtain Authorisation by the Conference of the Services of the Ministry of Economic Development.

Project area:800 Km (total length of pipeline)
Level of Investment:49,920,000,000.00 USD (40,000,000,000.00 € - Estimation of a private source. Since the project is private funded, the real amount of investment is not known)
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population: 9,861 (Melendugno inhabitants)
Start of the conflict:01/01/2010
Company names or state enterprises:E. ON from Italy
Axpo from Italy
Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)
British Petroleum (BP) from United Kingdom
State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) from Azerbaijan
Statoil from Norway
Fluxys from Belgium
Total SA from France
Relevant government actors:Melendugno Municipality: ; Regione Puglia: ; ARPA (Regional Agency for Environmental Protection) :

International and Finance InstitutionsEuropean Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
European Investment Bank (EIB)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Comitato No TAP : - ; Cooperativa Il Delfino:; Associazione Tramontana: ; Reazione:,

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
translation missing: en.m.mobilizing_groups.fisher_people
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
The TAP holding has funded a number of initiatives during the summer 2014. Many artists have refused to take part in such events in protest against the Multinational. At the same events and concerts in support f the No TAP Committee that is fighting against the project have also been organized.

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsPotential losses during the summer season. These losses may be particularly important given the nature of the land and tourism potential.

Other potential losses may occur in the economy in the fishing industry that will be affected due to closure of the fishery in the waters involved in the laying of the pipeline, as well as due to water pollution from the resulting sludge.


Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Land demarcation
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Despite various manifestations of dissent by the population, the NO TAP Committee, and the actions by local administration, the regional commission and the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, the project received the approval of the central government and is continuing its process towards realization.

Yet despite the final approval of the government to the implementation of the TAP gas pipeline project, the high level of citizens information and awareness about the project, not only locally but nationally, and the extent of mobilization created around the committees can be considered a success .

Sources and Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Ministry of Environment

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Meledugno Municipality

Regione Puglia

Melendugno Municipality

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Statoil, Joins EGL in Trans Adriatic Pipeline Gas Project, 2008

Tap AG, Intergovernmental agreement between Albania and Italy: important milestone for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project achieved, 2009

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Il Fatto Quotidiano

Lecce Prima

La Repubblica on line

Il Sole 24 ore

Tap AG, Intergovernmental agreement between Albania and Italy: important milestone for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project achieved, 2009

Re:Common; "Ten reasons to say no to TAP"


Italian musician Roy Paci opposes TAP (Italian)

Statoil, Joins EGL in Trans Adriatic Pipeline Gas Project, 2008

Other documents

NO TAP logo

TAP gas transportation plan Credits:

San Foca beach credits:

TAP Credis:

No TAP Demonstration Credits:

No TAP protests credits:

Meta information

Contributor:Annalisa Cavallini, CDCA - [email protected]
Last update18/12/2014



NO TAP logo


TAP gas transportation plan


San Foca beach




No TAP Demonstration


No TAP protests