Nord Stream, NEL natural gas pipelines nearing completion

The second line of Nord Stream AG’s trans-Baltic subsea natural gas pipeline will be complete by Apr. 25, according to Werner Rott, the company’s deputy project director engineering, speaking this week at the Euro Institute for Information and Technology Tranfer’s (EITEP) Pipeline Technology Conference in Hannover, Germany. Nord Stream has already laid over 1,157 km of the pipeline’s 1,224-km route, with the final stretch a deepwater segment in the middle of its route. Saipem’s Castoro Sei is completing the pipelay work.

Once construction is complete, commissioning will begin, with Line 2 expected to be in service by yearend. When fully operational, Line 2 will bring Nord Stream’s total capacity to 55 billion cu m/year. Delivery of gas through Line 1 began in November 2011.

Work on the 440-km North European Gas Pipeline (NEL) is scheduled to be completed by yearend. The 56-in. OD pipeline will extend from Nord Stream’s landfall facility in Lubmin, Germany, westward to Rehden, Germany. The completed line will transport as much as 20 billion cu m/year of gas. NEL construction included a November 2011 crossing beneath the Elbe River via horizontal directional drilling (HDD). NEL describes the 1,080-m long, 1.8-m diameter tunnel as the largest HDD crossing completed to date in Europe.

The 470-km Ostsee-Pipeline-Anbindungs-Leitung (OPAL) pipeline, extending south from Lubmin to the Czech Republic border at Olbernhau, Germany, was connected to Nord Stream in August 2011 and will carry up to 35 billion cu m/year once Nord Steam Line 2 enters service.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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