A reliable pipeline network has highest priority to assure Europe´s future gas supply. Besides the construction of the main supply pipelines such as TurkStream and TAP, the fast and safe installation of the regional, country-specific distribution networks plays a key role.
Different points of view of all involved parties have to be considered in the planning stage of routes and the evaluation of potential installation technologies. Due to a rising public attention paid to environmental issues and landowners´ concerns, the impact of pipeline construction on surroundings has to be reduced to a minimum. While a large proportion of cross-country pipeline installations is still executed by conventional open-trench methods, trenchless technologies are considered for sensitive crossings or pipeline landfalls. Pipe Express, as a semi-trenchless method, presents an alternative where open-cut methods would cause high efforts, reducing required right of way (ROW) by 70% with less impact on surroundings. Pipe Express is currently taken into consideration on several sections of European gas pipeline projects.
For the crossings of waterways or protected areas trenchless solutions are usually considered. Along the TAP route for example, various Direct Pipe and HDD crossings have been executed. The landfall in Southern Italy was designed as a pipe jacked casing tunnel, similar to the TurkStream connections in Anapa, Russia.
Proven in more than 160 crossings worldwide, Direct Pipe has recently been used in Europe for the former River Oder crossing of the EUGAL pipeline and along the Turkstream extension pipeline in Bulgaria and Serbia, where the current European distance record of 1,409 meters was set in November 2019.
This paper will present the latest trenchless and semi-trenchless pipeline installations along Europe´s major pipeline routes, including examples for the offshore-onshore connection of LNG terminals and gas fields.