The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) that will transport natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea off Azerbaijan to Europe is 50 percent complete.The 878-kilometer-long pipeline will connect with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi, cross Greece and Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.The pipeline construction began 16 months ago the halfway mark includes all engineering, procurement, and construction scope.To date, TAP’s contractors have cleared approximately 70 percent of the project route in Greece and Albania, namely 539 kilometers out of 765 kilometers. Also, over 45 percent of welded steel pipes are already in the ground.So far, 95 percent of the total 55,000 pipes to be used for the construction of the pipeline have been received in Greece, Albania, and Italy. According to TAP, the last shipment of offshore line pipes has been offloaded in Brindisi, Italy, on September 3-6, 2017.The company said that more than 5,500 people had worked on the project across TAP’s host countries, over 85 percent of which was staff employed locally.TAP managing director, Luca Schieppati, said: “We are pleased that TAP continues to progress on time and on budget. We, therefore, remain on track to deliver the first Shah Deniz II gas in 2020, bringing a much-needed new source of energy into the European energy network.“Our teams are working very carefully along our route to ensure that the land on which construction has been completed is returned to the owners or users in its original condition or better. We are also collaborating with local authorities and local stakeholders to ensure that the benefits of our project are tangible across all those communities crossed by the pipeline.”TAP is comprised of six shareholders. BP, SOCAR, and Snam hold 20 percent each, Fluxys holds 19 percent, Enagás has 16 percent, and Axpo holds the remaining five percent.