Solitaire sets to work on Nord Stream

Allseas’ Solitaire has started laying the Gulf of Finland stretch of the Nord Stream gas line in the Baltic Sea.

Offshore staff

ZUG, Switzerland -- Allseas’ Solitaire has started laying the Gulf of Finland stretch of the Nord Stream gas line in the Baltic Sea.

Prior to sailing to Russian waters, the vessel had to undergo an equipment check in Rotterdam to ensure compliance with the project’s requirements.

Solitaire has taken up laying of the pipeline 7.5 km (4.6 mi) from the Russian landfall and will continue laying in a westerly direction through the Gulf of Finland to the 300-km (186-mi) - KP 300 - point.

In January, the vessel is due to transfer to the 350-km (217-mi) point on the route, laying pipe back towards KP 300. It will also lay the same portion of the second string of the pipeline from May to September 2011.

The section of both strings of the pipeline between the Russian landfall and KP 7.5 has already been installed by Saipem’s Castoro Sei, which currently is laying the pipeline in Finnish waters in an easterly direction between KP 451 and KP 350.

The Nord Stream project team developed this lay sequence in agreement with the Finnish and Russian authorities to satisfy environmental restrictions. There will be no construction, for instance, along the northeastern part of the route in winter when covered by ice, which should ensure that breeding seals are not disturbed.

Otherwise, the construction program is progressing as scheduled and according to plan. Over 250 km (155 mi) of the first pipeline are down offshore Sweden and Finland so far. At the Russian landfall in Portovaya Bay, near Vyborg, and at the German landfall at Lubmin, near Greifswald, both strings of the pipeline already are in and pulled ashore.

When completed, scheduled for 2012, both strings of the Nord Stream pipeline will be 1,224 km (760 mi) long and comprise 202,000 concrete weight-coated steel pipes, each weighing up to 23 metric tons (25 tons). The system will transport 55 bcm/y (1.9 tcf/y) of natural gas a year to Europe.

09/02/2010

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