Construction of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline will continue in the Finnish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), as the Castoro Sei pipelay vessel returned to lay the pipeline in the western part of the EEZ, Nord Stream reported in a news release.
Saipem´s anchored pipelay vessel Castoro Sei returned yesterday to Finnish waters from Russia, where she had participated in the shore pull of the first pipeline. She will resume laying the first pipeline on the seabed in the western part of the Finnish EEZ, proceeding eastward between kilometre points (KP) 451 and 350 (see map below). The Castoro Sei has already constructed 47 kilometres in the Finnish EEZ at a rate of 2.5 kilometres per day, and she will continue construction in early autumn for approximately 100 kilometres. The preparatory works have been finalised in the Finnish EEZ.
The majority of the Finnish section of the pipeline, approximately 230 kilometres between KP 123 and 350, will be laid in late autumn and winter 2010 by Allseas’ dynamically-positioned (no anchoring) vessel Solitaire. The total length of the pipeline in the Finnish EEZ is 375 kilometres, located in open sea approximately 30 kilometres from the coastline, at a depth of approximately 80 metres.
Environmental factors monitored
The potential impacts of the construction activities are being monitored in accordance with the environmental monitoring programmes, which have been prepared in close cooperation with Finnish authorities and approved through legislation. Nord Stream´s construction activities and the corresponding environmental monitoring are being conducted within the framework of the Finnish permit provisions.
Temporary restrictions to navigation
The pipe laying and related activities will require temporary navigation restrictions in the Gulf of Finland for safety reasons. All the safety operations within the Finnish EEZ have been planned in cooperation with the Finnish Transport Agency. During construction, a safety zone with a radius of three kilometres will be set up for the Castoro Sei. The safety zone will be closed to other traffic.
The progress of the pipe laying will be communicated in advance to seafarers through Notices to Mariners, advance NAVTEX (Navigational Telex) warnings and VHF radio transmissions.
Nord Stream’s first pipeline is scheduled to be completed in 2011. The construction of the second pipeline will start in spring 2011, and it is scheduled to be operational in 2012. When completed, the Nord Stream Pipeline will transport 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year, which is enough gas to supply approximately 26 million European households.