“TAP’s schedule is at risk if olive trees are not moved by end of April”, Ulrike Andres, TAP Commercial and External Affairs Director, told Caspian Energy News (www.caspianenergy.net) in response to the question about how the schedule of the project’s delivery will be affected by the decision of the Italian Administrative Court of Lazio, which satisfied the claim of the authorities of Apulia region to cancel the order of the Italian Ministry of Ecology that gave permits to remove olive trees along the TAP pipeline.
“TAP is hopeful that it will move the olive trees by April and that it will deliver gas to Italy in 2020. Once works can safely resume, the olive trees could be removed and replanted in a matter of days”, she highlighted.
According to Ulrike Andres, following the decision of the TAR (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale) Lazio on 6 April, TAP has temporarily halted the removal and transportation work of olive trees until 19 April, when a hearing will be held. “We are doing everything in our power to ensure the already uprooted olive trees on site remain safe and healthy”, she said.
“We would like to emphasise once again that the Single Authorisation (SA) permit granted by the Ministry of Economy to TAP on 20 May 2015 remains legally valid and effective, as stated in the same Decree of TAR (Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale) Lazio. TAP continues to collaborate with all the authorities involved in the process to resume its activities on the ground”, Ulrike Andres stressed.
Speaking about losses from the project’s halting, Ulrike Andres said: “TAP is recording all damages caused by vandalism to our site in south Italy, including: destroying the nets protecting the olive trees against the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium; damaging the ancient stone walls (muretti a secco), part of Puglia’s cultural and historical heritage; tearing down fences delimiting our site, etc. (See relevant photos on our Italian Facebook page). These reports are submitted to relevant authorities and will be assessed at a later stage. TAP’s number one priority at this point in time is ensuring the already uprooted olive trees on site remain safe and healthy”.
Person in charge of the newsline: Jeyhun Bayramov