Agreement to Preserve the Archaeological Findings Discovered During TAP’s Construction in Albania

TAP and the Albanian Ministry of Culture signed an agreement for a project, which will catalogue, preserve, archive, and report the archaeological findings and artefacts discovered during TAP’s construction.

The agreement is for a € 1.4 million investment, aimed at protecting Albania’s cultural heritage. The project will be implemented by the selected contractor, Abkons shpk in alignment with and under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture.

TAP has been extremely respectful towards the host countries’ cultural heritage from the outset, recognising the significance of cultural dimension. At peak construction, more than 600 archaeologists worked across the three host countries to continuously monitor the construction works and to document all the cultural heritage findings.

Thanks to TAP, many archaeological sites, important settlements, and cultural heritage findings were identified in Albania, enabling archaeologists to further enhance their knowledge. TAP has revealed findings from multiple periods of the Albanian history, from a neolithic settlement discovered in Turan, Korçë dating back to 7000 BC, to findings from the past century. The regions where most of archaeological sites were discovered are Korça, Berat and Skrapar.

In total, TAP has recovered 44,000 artefacts and nearly 1,000 skeletons in 12 excavations and cultural monuments near the pipeline’s route in Albania.

TAP’s Environmental, Social and Cultural Heritage (ESCH) management plan is compliant with the national and EU regulations, EBRD’s Performance Requirements and the international best practice.

“TAP traverses lands rich in history and culture. I am proud that the findings revealed by TAP have enriched our knowledge of the Albanian and European history. We have carefully chosen a competent and experienced service provider that meets all the requirements to ensure a successful project implementation. We believe that in alignment with the Ministry of Culture, the contractor will ensure to conclude the task in due time in full compliance with the contract’s terms,” Luca Schieppati, TAP’s Managing Director, said.

“It is not a coincidence that we are here today to sign another agreement which will further enhance our cooperation. TAP is one of our most valuable partners. Together we are restoring the Concert Hall of the University of Arts, an important symbol of our cultural heritage and academic life. This agreement is for a project which focuses on archaeology, and I hope it will be followed by other joint projects,” Elva Margariti, Minister of Culture, added.

“We feel proud to be contributing to the preservation of our country’s archaeological treasures as part of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project. Multiple and very impressive archaeological findings were unearthed during TAP’s construction. The excavations conducted during construction enriched both archaeological topography and scientific knowledge. Moreover, the many unknown -until now- archaeological sites that have come to light, will broaden the country’s and the wider region’s research prospects. All of the work undertaken by Abkons followed the international best practices and we will continue to meet these standards during the cataloguing process to preserve our valuable archaeological findings in the best way possible,” Redi Basha, Abkons Chief Executive Officer, noted.


About the Trans Adriatic Pipeline

TAP transports natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea to Europe. The 878 km long pipeline connects with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border in Kipoi, crosses Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.

TAP will facilitate gas supplies to South-Eastern European countries through prospective interconnectors. Bulgaria will be able to cover up to 33% of its total gas demand through TAP after the completion of the Interconnector Greece Bulgaria (IGB). TAP’s exits in Greece and Albania, together with the landfall in Italy provide multiple opportunities for further transport of gas from Azerbaijan to the wider European markets.

As a key part of the Southern Gas Corridor, TAP is strategically and economically important to Europe and essential in providing reliable access to a new source of natural gas. TAP plays a significant role in boosting Europe’s energy security, supply diversification, as well as its decarbonisation objectives.

TAP’s shareholding is comprised of bp (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%).

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