The consortium managing the planned Trans-Adriatic pipeline said it was seeking contractors for the onshore section planned through Greece and Albania. TAP construction through Greece and Albania is scheduled for 2016. Companies wishing to land a construction contract need to submit their bids to the consortium no later than May 26. « This is one of the largest contracts that TAP plans to award, » TAP Procurement Director Knut Steinar Kvindesland said in a statement Monday. « The selection of potential suppliers will be rigorous. » The 540-mile pipeline is meant to diversify a European energy sector that depends heavily on Russian natural gas. It will bring as much as 700 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year from the Shah Deniz natural gas field off the coast of Azerbaijan as early as 2019. The highest point for the Albanian section would be 5,900 feet above sea level. The consortium says it has a « zero-harm » policy governing the environmental aspects of the project’s construction. The project consortium is led by BP, the State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan Republic, and Norwegian energy company Statoil.