“Despite the pandemic, the Baltic Pipe project is on schedule. Both parts – offshore and inland – of this complex investment programme are currently in the construction phase,” Tomasz Stępień, president of Gaz-System, told Polish Press Agency (PAP).
“On the coasts of Poland and Denmark, advanced preparatory works are being carried out at the landing sites of the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline. In April, on the Polish side, in the Rewal municipality, the drilling of a 600-metre long tunnel under the coast will start,” said Mr Stępień. He added that the length of the underground passage in Denmark is about one kilometre.
Both outlets of the offshore gas pipeline will be made using trenchless microtunneling technology. The gas pipeline will run under the dune belt and the beach in Poland and in Denmark under the cliff coast in an underground tunnel drilled by a TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine). Such a device weighs approx. 100 tons and with all components it is 13 metres long. The cutting shield for boring a tunnel with a diameter of 2.5 m arrived in Poland on March 12 and is currently being assembled at the construction site, announced the president of Gaz-System.
He explained that after the tunnels have been completed, specialist marine units will appear at the Baltic Pipe landing sites this summer to perform the first welding works. The components of the gas pipeline will be welded together on ships and then hauled to the shore through a hollow tunnel. After that, ships will begin welding the gas pipeline successively and laying it on the seabed along the designated route.
“This year we plan to weld the entire offshore gas pipeline. The end of this year and the subsequent months of 2022 will be spent on tests, technical tests, gasification and commissioning, so that from October 2022 we will start transmitting gas through this pipeline,” stressed Stępień. He also said that Gaz-System is responsible for the supply of key materials. All the pipes that are needed to build the offshore part of this investment have been produced and are successively shipped to ports, from which they will then be shipped to the construction site, he emphasised
The offshore part of the Baltic Pipe also includes intersections with the infrastructure on the seabed. “There is quite a lot of it on the route. These are telecommunications and energy cables as well as gas pipelines,” explained the president of Gaz-System. “All crossing agreements with the owners of these facilities have already been signed and the methods of carrying out these crossings and the schedules for their implementation have been agreed,” he added.
The Baltic Pipe is a strategic project that will create a new route of natural gas supplies from Norway to the Danish and Polish markets and to clients in neighbouring countries. The gas pipeline will transmit up to 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually to Poland and 3 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Poland to Denmark. The investors are the transmission operators, Danish Energinet and Polish Gaz-System.
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