Italian court rejects Puglia appeal on TAP olive trees

Thu 20 April 2017 16:14 GMT | 20:14 Local Time

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The Lazio regional administrative court (TAR) on Thursday rejected an appeal by the Puglia region against a government order to uproot and replant olive trees for the construction of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), APA reported citing ANSA agency.

On April 6 the Lazio TAR suspended an environment ministry permit for the removal of olive trees in the area of the work site for the TAP pipeline in Melendugno, Puglia, pending today's hearing on the appeal against the permit.

On April 10 Industry Minister Carlo Calenda ruled out a change of location for the TAP project in Puglia following big protests over the removal of olive trees. "Changing now would mean saying that we won't do it, but it is fundamentally important that we do," Calenda told reporters in Rome. "Fourteen different alternatives were discussed for the arrival site. The infrastructure is in the implementation phase and the debate lasted a very long time".

TAP is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor, which is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union.

The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.

The pipeline will connect to the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy’s south.

TAP will be 878 kilometers in length (Greece 550 kilometers, Albania 215 kilometers, Adriatic Sea 105 kilometers, and Italy 8 kilometers). Its highest point will be 1,800 meters in Albania’s mountains, while its lowest point will be 820 meters beneath the sea.

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