The Nord Stream, OPAL & Nel pipelines and Europe´s search for assured gas supplies
Proceedings Publication Date
Michael Schad
Michael Schad, Thomas Garcon, Christian Kassel
Part of the proceedings of
Gas production in Europe is set to decline drastically in the next few years. It will be necessary to meet the resultant supply deficit by means of greater gas imports. A significant portion of this increased demand will be covered by the Nord Stream Pipeline, which from 2011 and 2012 onward, will convey in two lines an additional approx. 55 billion m3 of gas annually from Russia to Europe via the Baltic Sea. From Greifswald, Germany, these resources will be integrated into the European gas transmission grid via two newly constructed routes, the OPAL ( 470 km DN 1400) and NEL ( 450 km DN 1400) pipelines.

This paper was written and will be presented by DENSO GmbH, EUROPIPE and Max Streicher AG. It will examine the special factors involved in the construction of these three pipelines, focusing in particular on the innumerous challenges for the pipe manufacturer and the construction companies and the selection and installation of the anticorrosion protection systems for the pipes and welded pipe joints. The focus will be laid on the OPAL and NEL pipelines as DENSO is concentrating the activities on on-shore projects only.

Europipe as the manufacturer for the pipes is furthermore responsible for the complete logistics for pipe supply- and storage. Max Streicher AG was in cooperation with SICIM responsible for the construction of OPAL lots 11-14 and will work on the NEL construction on several sections, too.

DENSO GmbH´s contribution to this construction is the supply of corrosion prevention tapes for field joint coatings on all sections of the OPAL and of appropriate application devices.

The paper describes the experiences made on the OPAL and the tailor-made adjustments in order to fit the complex challenges of  DN 1400 pipes.

Further we will have a short review of the long-term study ( 2008/2009) of E.ON Ruhrgas which had surveyed more than 17% of its pipeline grid of 11.600 km by intelligent pigging. E.ON´s pipeline grid is in an excellent shape, but some sections are dating back into the early twenties of the last century, which will give an interesting perspective to the long-term behaviour of modern 3-ply self-amalgamating tapes.

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