Construction of a major European pipeline project, EUGAL, is now in full swing, on schedule for completion on time and under budget.
Comprising a total length of 480 km, the European Gas Pipeline Link (EUGAL) will transport natural gas from a gas receiving station the length of Germany, from Lubmin, on the coast of the Baltic Sea, to Deutschneudorf on the border with the Czech Republic. Approximately 272 km of the pipeline will run through Brandenburg, 106 km will be constructed in Saxony and the remaining 102 km will be laid in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
The pipe will be laid 10 m underground at a minimum depth of 1 m. The natural gas receiving station in Lubmin will be purpose built for the project, an export station at Saxony on the German-Czech border will also be constructed.
When fully operational, the pipeline will have a transport capacity of 55 billion m³ of gas per year, with 45.1 billion m³ of the resource directed to the Czech Republic and 9.9 billion m³ to the western European market. In order to minimise the space required, large sections of the pipeline will be laid parallel to the Baltic Sea Pipeline Link and connected to the landing point of the Nord Stream 2 network to deliver gas into central Europe.
The pipeline alignment crosses several water bodies along its route, including the Elbe River, one of the major rivers in central Europe. Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is being used at this particular location, preserving the surrounding environment.
The official cost of the project has not been released; however, GASCADE Gastransport – the company responsible for the construction and operation of the pipeline – says the final price tag will be more than €1 billion (US$1.13 billion). GASCADE is a consortium of a Gazprom and Wintershall DEA joint venture (JV) (50.5 per cent), Fluxys Deutschland (16.5 per cent), ONTRAS Gastransport (16.5 per cent) and Gasunie Deutschland Transport Services (16.5 per cent).
Despite its large scale, movement on the project has been swift. Planning procedures for the pipeline’s construction were submitted to relevant authorities in June 2016, while planning approvals were obtained in Brandenburg, Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in August, September and October 2018, respectively.
In April 2017, GASCADE awarded Europipe a contract to deliver the necessary pipe for the construction of the project. Europipe subsequently manufactured 635,000 t of 56 inch (1,420 mm) pipe at a facility in Mulhiem an der Ruhr in Germany’s west from 2017 through to 2019.
Approximately 47,000 pipes are needed for the construction. Each DN 1400 pipe section is 18 m long, weighs 15t and has a thickness of 23 mm.
The first of pipes were delivered to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in the north of Germany in September 2018.
Construction was split between a variety of groups across 14 lots. In August 2017, SCIM was awarded a construction contract for lots five and six of the pipeline, while a JV of Max Streicher and Bonatti was contracted in July 2018 to build six lots totalling a length of 292 km.
Building the largest stretch, the Max Streicher-Bonatti JV works include the construction of the southern section of the EUGAL route to Deutschneudorf on the Czech border.
Additionally, a Vorwerk, Denys and Anton Meyer JV was enlisted by GASCADE to construct lots seven and eight, while Salzgitter Mannesmann Grobblech is responsible for providing approximately 673 pipe bends.
To shield the pipeline, GASCADE awarded Denso a contract to provide field-joint protection.
A well-known manufacturer of coatings and pipe rehabilitation systems, the company was recruited to provide three quarters – or around 36,000 – of the project’s field joints with Densolen-N60/-S20 tape.
The cold-applied two-tape system for corrosion prevention on metal pipes and pipelines uses a three-plied tape as the inside and outside tape, each in two layers, thereby fusing all four layers of tape together through a company formula. The tender process for the joint coating was the first of its kind to include automatic tape.
Responding to demand
With contracts awarded and approvals obtained, construction began in October 2018 on the Saxony section of the pipeline. The first string is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019, while the second string is expected to be finished the following year.
Tipped to become a crucial gas transport link in Europe, EUGAL will secure gas supply between Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland.
A response to the growing demand for natural gas and transport capacity across the continent, GASCADE is aiming to commission the project in 2020.
For more information visit the EUGAL website.
This article was featured in the Spring edition of Pipelines International. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet, or mobile device, click here.
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