Russia: Two Week Shutdown for Nord Stream Pipeline
- Adapting control systems requires planned two week shutdown
- Pipe-laying of the second 1,224 kilometre pipeline nears completion
- Second line will be prepared for operation during the summer
Nord Stream is entering an intensive period during which its engineers and partners will take key steps towards completing the integrated twin pipeline system capable of transporting up to 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) of Russian gas a year to Europe through the Baltic Sea, for at least 50 years: control systems will be adapted to integrate the twin pipelines into a single automated twin-pipeline gas transport system, at the same time as pipe-laying of the second pipeline is completed and pre-commissioning started.
The two-week process of adapting, testing and certifying the integrated control system for the twin pipelines requires the valves at both Russian and German landfall to be shut, gas from the Portovaya Compressor Station to be stopped and the flow of gas through the pipeline to be temporarily halted. All official notifications and technical preparations for this important work have been completed, and Nord Stream AG confirms that the valves will be closed on 15 April 2012. The adapting has been planned in close co-operation with Nord Stream’s upstream and downstream partners.
After all the required tests have been completed and certifications have been received, it is planned that Nord Stream will re-open the valves towards the end of April. The first of Nord Stream’s twin pipelines has transported to its downstream European partners all the gas nominated and supplied by Gazprom Export. To date this totals approximately 3.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) during the ramp-up phase since becoming operational in November.
In the meantime pipe-laying of the second of the twin 1,224 kilometre pipelines is about to be completed, and the three sections will be joined underwater off the Finnish coast in mid-May and off the Swedish coast in early June. Pre-commissioning and commissioning of the second pipeline will take place over the summer, and the second line is on schedule to become operational as part of the integrated twin-pipeline system towards the end of the year.
Source: Nord Stream, April 13, 2012