On the basis of comprehensive feasibility studies, GAZPROM, E.ON Ruhrgas and Wintershall have decided to fill the emerging gap in transport capacities to Western Europe by building a new gas transport corridor through the Baltic Sea from the Russian region near Vyborg to Germany in the area of Greifswald. As a fourth shareholder, the Dutch company Gasunie entered into the project recently. The decision to route the project offshore was taken under careful consideration of environmental and economic studies. The offshore route is more economical than onshore options because the consumption of fuel gas is minimized and thereby the CO2 emissions due to gas transport are reduced dramatically. The economic effect more than compensates for the initial higher investments for the offshore construction. According to experts, any onshore route crossing forests, rivers and sensitive areas will have an essential impact on the environment. Nord Stream is strictly taking into account the national and international laws governing construction and operation of the pipelines.
Since April 2007 Nord Stream Engineering focused on three major issues:
- Engineering and optimization of the route as one of several basic requirements for the ongoing permitting procedures and negotiations.
- Conclusion of major contract awards for detailed engineering, line pipes, pipe lay and valves
- Development of major construction, logistics and operating philosophies
I. Snamprogetti (Italy) was chosen as the main engineering contractor for the detailed engineering work between the battery limits of the Russian transport system and the German transport system.
II. Under the engineering scope of work, the following contracts were signed: Line pipes for Line 1 (75 % of length to be produced by Europipe, Duisburg (Germany), 25 % by OMK, Vyksa (Russia)A LOI for the pipe laying for both Line 1 and Line 2 (Saipem – UK)A LOI for the 48” valves for both Line 1 and Line 2 (PetrolValves – Italy)
III. A construction plan was developed based on the basics of the two landfalls and the offshore pipe-laying. Subsequently, a logistics concept was developed to ensure on-time delivery and sufficient quantities of pipes at the specified locations. A Joint Working Group has been created to discuss operating principles and to ensure a proper and safe gas flow management.