Some of you might have noticed those green metal posts, with the two orange rings and a similarly colored cap, that seem to be randomly placed around the landscape and can be found in northeastern Italy, parts of Austria and in southern Germany. They mark the path of one of the most important “transport routes” in Central Europe: the Transalpine Pipeline, or TAL, buried underground beneath them. Every year it carries more than 40 million tons of crude oil from Trieste, on the Adriatic, northward over the Alps—an amount that would fill approximately five thousand tanker trucks per day. More than one-third of Germany’s crude oil needs reach the country through this pipeline.
This year the vital pipeline is turning fifty: in October 1967, the first oil reached the refineries in Ingolstadt, Bavaria. Since that time the flow has never ceased.
This anniversary was a reason for us to dedicate the cover story of our customer magazine to the TAL and to highlight its importance for Germany’s economy. We can be proud: for the construction of this pipeline, which was an impressive technical and engineering achievement, TÜV SÜD was at the forefront of the project from the very start. Even today, quite a few employees remain involved with the regular inspections along the 750 kilometers of pipeline. TÜV SÜD is additionally a sought-after consultant on safety issues for all structural modifications either on or around the pipeline.
The Transalpine Pipeline is also a great example of an early international project that has been functioning smoothly across country borders for half a century. I wish the TAL and all of its employees and others involved all the best on this anniversary—and may everything continue to “go with the flow” over the coming decades as well.
Enjoy the read!