The world's largest pipelay vessel, Allseas’ Solitaire, has completed work on Line 1 of the twin pipeline, with two of three sections of Line 1 now complete. In total, more than 83,300 pipe segments have been laid over a distance of 1,000 km. The remaining part will be constructed by Saipem’s Castoro Sei pipelay vessel until April 2011.
Nord Stream AG Deputy Director of Construction Ruurd Hoekstra said “We have completed this most challenging part of the pipeline through the Baltic Sea on schedule, and have now laid over 80 per cent of Line 1 of the twin pipeline.”
Mr Hoekstra said that the pipelay vessel Solitaire had been chosen to lay part of this section as it operates without anchors, ensuring that only the pipeline itself touched the seabed along the precise route agreed with the Finnish authorities.
“This has been an added safety guarantee for us in this congested area of the Baltic Sea known for its historic mine lines,” said Mr Hoekstra.Article continues below…
The connection of the three major pipeline sections will be carried out at the two offshore locations where the design pressure changes from 220 to 200 bar and from 200 to 170 bar respectively.
The Gulf of Finland and central sections will be connected in spring off the coast of Finland at a sea depth of approximately 80 m.
The connection of the central and south-western sections off the coast of Gotland, Sweden, at a depth of approximately 110 m, will take place in summer and mark the completion of construction of Line 1.
Nord Stream is a natural gas pipeline that will link Russia and the European Union through the Baltic Sea. Proponent Nord Stream AG – a joint venture consisting of Gazprom, BASF SE/Wintershall Holding GmbH, E.ON Ruhrgas AG, N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and GDF SUEZ S.A. – plans to have the first of two parallel pipelines operational in 2011. Each line is approximately 1,220 km long, providing a transport capacity of approximately 27.5 Bcm/a. Full capacity of about 55 Bcm/a will be reached when the second line goes on stream.