Halfway mark for Nord Stream's Line 1News // December 6, 2010
Nord Stream has announced that it has completed over half of the first of its two 1,224km gas pipelines through the Baltic Sea.
Construction of Line 1 is progressing on schedule, and it will start transporting gas from Russia to customers in the European Union in late 2011.
Using up to three pipelay vessels and a flotilla of support ships, the Nord Stream consortium’s partners have constructed and laid more than 600km of pipe along different sections of the route agreed by the five countries through whose waters the large-diameter pipeline will pass.
“Everything is going according to plan, and we are on budget and on schedule,” said Nord Stream’s Managing Director Matthias Warnig. “This has been made possible by exemplary teamwork and collaboration among our many partners and suppliers across Europe and in Russia. The meticulous plans which we agreed with governments throughout the Baltic Sea region are becoming a reality, and we are carefully monitoring every step to make sure that the pipeline meets high quality, safety and environmental standards,” Mr Warnig added. “The success of our project will make it a benchmark for international collaboration and meticulous planning.”
Saipem’s Castoro Sei pipelay vessel started construction in April in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Gotland, laying pipe in an easterly direction into Finnish waters before laying down the pipe and moving on to Russian waters, where it laid sections of both pipelines and participated in the shore-pull at Portovaya Bay, near Vyborg.
Castoro Sei then moved south to pick up another section of the first pipeline in German waters where Saipem’s flat-bottomed Castoro Dieci had completed ahead of schedule the difficult 27 kilometres shallow-water section of both pipelines at the German landfall.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the 1,224km pipeline route the world’s largest pipelay vessel, Allseas’ Solitaire, has reached the Finnish EEZ after laying a key section in Russian waters. It had picked up the pipe where Castoro Sei had completed the first 7.5km in the Russian landfall section.
“The meticulous planning of every aspect of this complex project – technical, logistic, safety, environmental and operational – has made for a smooth-running construction programme,” says Nord Stream’s Deputy Director Construction Ruurd Hoekstra.
“Nord Stream’s twin pipelines will be 1,224km long and consist of altogether 202,000 concrete weight coated pipes, each 12m long and weighing 23 tonnes on average. When both lines are completed in 2012, they will transport 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year – enough to meet the needs of more than 26 million European households.