ZUG, Switzerland -- A newly built subsea plow, PL3, has arrived in the Baltic Sea for trenching duty on the first of the Nord Stream gas pipelines.
The vessel, brought onboard theFar Samson vessel, will be used to lower sections of the line below the seabed in Swedish and Danish waters. Plowing will be take place through February and into mid-March.
According to the Nord Stream consortium, these operations should have no significant impact on flora and fauna in the region as sediments will settle quickly. But water quality will be monitored prior to, during, and after trenching to confirm the results of the model simulation, and that the program is complying with permit requirements.
ThePL3 was developed and built by IHC Engineering Business for Saipem UK. It weighs around 200 metric tons (220 tons), is 22 m (72 ft) long, and can excavate a trench up to a maximum depth of 2.5 m (8.2 ft).
While in operation, it will be towed by theFar Samson, which during tests set a world record when it achieved 423 metric ton (466 ton) continuous bollard pull. The Far Samson has a hybrid propulsion system and its generator engines are equipped with catalytic converters, designed to cut NOx emissions by 95%.