Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG company, which is in charge of the construction of the TAP gas project, has temporarily suspended works on the pipeline near the Turan village in Korca in the country's east, after it discovered the remains of an ancient settlement there.
The pipeline will carry Caspian gas from the Greek-Turkish border via Greece and Albania to Italy. The first gas exports from Azerbaijan to Georgia and Turkey are expected in late 2018, while the first deliveries to Europe will follow in early 2020.
The settlement was discovered during clearing works on the pipeline route. The area where the archaeological discovery was made has been closed off. TAP construction works in this area are expected to resume within one month, once the relevant institutions conclude their report.
In the meantime, TAP's construction activities along the pipeline route in Albania (215km) continue to progress in line with the project schedule, TAP said.
The findings are believed to date to the early Iron Age in the 10th and 9th centuries BC, and to the late Roman period in the 4th and 6th centuries, according to the preliminary assessment undertaken by TAP cultural heritage experts, TAP said on May 10.
More than 30 cultural heritage experts and archaeologists monitor TAP’s ground-breaking construction work across the pipeline route in Albania.
“The rescue, conservation and protection of cultural heritage along the pipeline route is critical to TAP’s construction activities,” TAP senior cultural heritage advisor Neil Fairburn was cited in the statement.
In July 2016, TAP discovered a column dating back to the 6th century.
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