ZUG, Switzerland -- Two giant gate valves have arrived in Greifswald, Germany, for installation at either end of the 1,224-km (760-mi) Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea.
Italian company Petrovalves has engineered and manufactured a total of four 102-metric ton (112-ton) through-conduit valves for the project, which will be installed at locations in Germany and Russia.
The double-expanding gate valves will be placed in front of each of the pipeline pig receivers to isolate gas in the pipeline from the pig receiver when it is not in use. They measure 10.4 x 4.1 x 2.6 m (34 x 13.5 x 8.5 ft).
The Nord Stream claims these are the heaviest gate valves ever manufactured. They underwent extensive testing in Italy before transport.
Construction of the first Nord Stream pipeline (eventually a second line will be laid alongside in parallel) is progressing according to schedule. Around 450 km (279 mi) of the first pipeline have so far been laid in Swedish, Finnish, and Russian waters.
Both strings of the pipeline have been constructed and pulled ashore at the Russian landfall in Portovaya Bay, Vyborg, and at the German landfall at Lubmin, near Greifswald.