ST. PETERSBURG, September 27 (Itar-Tass) — The construction of a system of gas pipelines to supply natural gas to the Nord Stream pipeline has entered the home stretch, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee Alexander Ananenkov said at a meeting in St. Petersburg on Monday.
The meeting participants noted the high intensity of work on the expansion of gas transportation facilities in the North-West Russia. “The construction and preparation of all the facilities that ensure commercial gas supply to the Nord Stream pipeline for work under load has entered the home stretch,” Ananenkov said commenting on the results of work of the Gazprom group of specialists.
Thus, the linear part of the Pochinki-Gryazovets pipeline has been fully welded and laid in the trench, hydraulic tests completed at eight of the ten sections. Start-up operations are underway at the Lukoyanovskaya and Ivanovskaya compressor stations, and at the Vyaznikovskaya station the installation of four gas pumping units with the total capacity of 64 MW is in progress.
The construction of the linear part of the loop system continues on the Gryazovets-Vyborg pipeline. Commissioning operations are underway at the Volkhovskaya, Yelizavetinskaya and Babayevskaya compressor stations that are part of the gas pipeline system.
The construction of the Sindorskaya, Urdomskaya, Nyuksenitskaya compressor stations of the SRTO-Torzhok main gas pipeline continues.
The work on the planned capacity increase (from 264 MW to 389 MW) of the key facility of the Gryazovets gas transportation hub – the Gryazovetskaya compressor station is 47.3 percent complete. The necessary tests of the systems and complex testing of the station’s finished facilities have been carried out and the new capacities are fully prepared for operation.
On Monday, a group of Gazprom specialists led by Ananenkov visited the Portovaya compressor station’s construction site - the starting point of Nord Stream gas pipeline. To date, the construction of a gas treatment unit has been completed at the station. The commissioning operations at gas pumping units with the overall capacity of 210 MW have been launched, the hydraulic testing of the gas treatment unit is underway.
The experts also inspected a special unit for gas treatment that is used to fill the first pipe of the pipeline with process gas. They noted that the unit is operating normally and the filling will be completed on schedule.
After that the Gazprom team gave instructions to the specialised business units, subsidiaries and contractors to implement projects in Northwest Russia on schedule.
The expansion of the gas transportation system in the country’s Northwest is needed for ensuring gas transportation from the Yamal Peninsula where a new gas production centre is currently being created, for the timely supply of gas to the Nord Stream pipeline, as well as for raising reliability of gas supply to consumers in the North-West region of Russia.
In early September 2011, Gazprom has begun filling the first line of Nord Stream with gas. The pipeline’s filling is a necessary final technological stage before the first pipe’s putting into operation.
According to Gazprom, on September 6, the Portovaya compressor station located near Vyborg (Leningrad Oblast) hosted celebrations dedicated to the start of natural gas feeding into the first string of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. Taking part in the event were Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Government; Alexei Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee; Gerhard Schroeder, Chairman of the Nord Stream AG Shareholders’ Committee and Matthias Warnig, Managing Director of Nord Stream AG. The feeding is a necessary final-stage process that precedes commissioning of the first string of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. Natural gas will be fed by a special gas treatment unit. The entire process will last for nearly a month.
“Nord Stream has a special significance for meeting the growing gas demand of the European market. It will be the first direct link between the world’s largest natural gas reserves located in Russia and the European gas transmission system. The project is progressing strictly according to the schedule, and first commercial gas supplies via the first string of Nord Stream will soon reach the European Union. The entire gas volume to be supplied under the project is already contracted by major international energy companies. The commissioning of Nord Stream, the longest offshore gas trunkline worldwide, is a milestone in the global gas industry history,” said Alexei Miller.
Nord Stream is a fundamentally new route for Russian gas export to Europe. Running across the Baltic Sea waters from the Portovaya Bay (near Vyborg) to the German coast (near Greifswald) the gas pipeline will stretch for more than 1,200 kilometres. The first string of the gas pipeline with a capacity of 27.5 billion cubic metres per annum is projected to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2011. Construction of the second string will increase its annual capacity to 55 billion cubic metres.
The Nord Stream project is being implemented by Nord Stream AG, the joint venture set up for planning, construction and subsequent operation of the offshore gas pipeline. Stakes in Nord Stream AG are currently distributed as follows: Gazprom holds 51 per cent, Wintershall Holding and E.ON Ruhrgas – 15.5 percent each, Gasunie and GDF Suez – 9 percent each.
On September 3, 2011 the onshore and the offshore sections of the Nord Stream gas pipeline were connected which made it possible to start feeding gas into its offshore section.