Statutory Aspects of a Pipeline Landfall in Germany - The Role of the Technical Expert among various overlapping Rules and local German Regulations using the example of the Nord Stream 2 Project
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Nord Stream 2 is a pipeline system consisting of two 48” pipelines through the Baltic Sea planned to deliver natural gas from vast reserves in Russia directly to the EU gas market to fill the growing gas import demand. The pipeline system will have a design capacity of 27.5 bcm a year per each of the two pipelines and will require approx. 100,000 concrete coated steel pipes laid on the seabed; each weighing 24 tons. The project plan envisages completion of the twin pipelines by end of 2019 and for the infrastructure to have an operating life of at least 50 years. As the twin pipelines will be routed through the German section of the Baltic Sea and terminate on the German shore, the German Mining Authority Bergamt Stralsund is responsible for the approval procedure. In this context GLIS acts as Technical Expert for the authority. The role of the Technical Expert is primarily to verify that the pipeline and related facilities of the project located in the German sector are in compliance with the applicable German Regulations and related codes and standards during all stages of the project. Different legal requirements have to be considered for certain areas in the German sector in the Baltic Sea, e.g. the German exclusive economic zone (Bundesberggesetz BBergG applies) and the 12-sm zone (Gashochdruckleitungsverordnung GasHDrLtgV applies). The pipelines will be designed, constructed and commissioned between the pig traps acc. to DNV-OS-F101. In the German Territorial Waters until the gas receiving terminal, DIN EN 14161 will be considered. For the onshore part of the pipeline system (e.g. mechanical equipment, pig trap area piping), requirements from the DVGW rules must be considered. The objective of this paper is to describe the challenges related to the various project and legal requirements, the interaction and cooperation between the involved parties and how these are addressed in this important offshore pipeline project to supply additional gas into Germany and Europe.
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