Saipem vessel working to tie together two ends of Nord Stream 2 pipe
The Saipem-owned pipelay vessel Castoro 10 (C10) is currently located off Rügen, Germany to tie together the two ends of a Nord Stream 2 pipe string laid last year on the seabed.
Nord Stream 2 AG, a subsidiary of Russia’s Gazprom and the operator of the project, said on Monday that the two sections would be connected above water with a weld seam.
In what is known as an Above-Water Tie-In (AWTI), both pipe ends will be lifted out of the water and then cut, aligned and welded together from a working platform attached to the C10. The weld seam is ultrasonically tested and coated with an anti-corrosion protection.
Afterwards, the pipe string will be placed on the Baltic seafloor in a slight arc.
The company said that, including all preparation and follow-up work, the procedure takes two to three weeks. With optimal weather conditions and smooth operations, the works above water can be completed within just a week, according to the operator.
The C10 is situated northwest of the “Landtief” approach and positioned with eight anchors. Due to the anchor pattern as well as diving works, a safety distance of at least 1,000 meters from C10 must be observed.
The operator added that work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline continues to proceed as scheduled. Altogether more than 1,700 kilometers (over 70 percent) of both pipe strings have been laid in accordance with the existing permits in the waters of Germany, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.
It is also worth mentioning that, earlier this month, the last pipe for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline stored within the premises of the port of Karlshamn, Sweden left the port.
Nord Stream 2 was designed as two parallel 48-inch lines, roughly 1,200 kilometers long, each starting from south-west of St Petersburg and ending at German coast, Greifswald. Nord Stream 2’s natural gas pipelines will have the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian gas a year to the EU, for at least 50 years.
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