PL

Italian job for Baltic pipeline

Infrastructure
POLAND Italian drilling and engineering company Saipem has been awarded a EUR 280 mln contract by the Polish gas transmission operator Gaz-System for the transportation and installation of a natural gas pipeline between Denmark and Poland in the Baltic Sea. A permit for the work to take place in Swedish waters has also now been issued, allowing the project to go ahead.

The Baltic Pipe Project is a strategic infrastructure project developed by a joint venture between Gaz-System and Energinet.dk, which is being co-financed by the EU. It is aimed at the creation of a new inter-European gas corridor that will supply gas directly from the Norwegian gas fields to Denmark, Poland and neighbouring countries.

The contract was signed at the end of April and was followed a few days later by the Swedish permit. Permission had already been given by the West Pomeranian and Danish authorities for the offshore work.

The project entails the construction of app. 275 km of 36” concrete-coated pipeline between Denmark and Poland at a depth of between 4m and 57m. This will involve micro-tunnelling and other civil engineering work in Denmark and Poland, extensive rock-dumping as well as pre- and post-lay trenching and back-filling. In the second half of the year, the survey of the pre-assembly pipeline route is to take place. Ships preparing for laying the gas pipeline are to be sent into the Baltic Sea in H1 2021, while the laying of the pipeline itself will start in the summer of that year. The pipeline should be able to come into use in October 2022.

Francesco Racheli, the COO of the offshore engineering and construction division of Sapiem, has commented: “This new contract, which has been signed thanks to our solid track record in pipeline installation projects and that has arrived at a critical moment for the energy industry worldwide, will help to ensure the continuity of the European gas supply.”

Last year the European Commission granted the Baltic Pipe Project co-financing through its Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) of almost EUR 215 mln, bringing its total support for the project up to EUR 266.8 mln. The project has been given the status by the EC of a ‘project of common interest’ (PCI).

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