Nord Stream’s Twin Pipelines Come On Stream

Portovaya Bay (Russia), Groningen | press release
  • Large gas infrastructure project delivered on schedule, on budget.
  • Capable of transporting up to 55 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe per year for at least 50 years, contributing to Europe’s long-term energy security.
  • Dutch Prime Minister Rutte: ‘Another world-class joint achievement. (...) It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Nord Stream project.’
  • Gasunie CEO Van Gelder: ‘Facing choices in energy policy to achieve a clean and affordable energy supply, the Netherlands and Europe should rely on gas.’

Nord Stream’s second pipeline was officially inaugurated today, completing the fully-integrated twin-pipeline system. The Nord Stream pipeline system will provide the capacity to transport up to 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas a year from Russia to the European Union for at least 50 years. The first line started transporting gas to Europe in November 2011, and the second line came on stream today on schedule and on budget, only 30 months after the start of the construction phase.

The completed system was officially launched today at a ceremony at Portovaya Bay, on Russia’s Baltic coast, in the presence of distinguished guests, representatives of several European countries and Nord Stream’s shareholders. By starting the gas flow in the control room of the nearby Gazprom Compressor Station Portovaya, Russian gas can now be pumped without the need for interim re-compression all the way through the Baltic Sea, and onwards into the European gas transmission network. The state-of-the-art compressor units generate pressures of up to 220 bar, enough to take the gas through both 1,224 kilometre pipelines to Lubmin on the German Baltic Coast.

Construction of the twin pipelines involved laying over 200,000 24-tonne pipes on the seabed along a carefully-selected route. The precise routing had been agreed over a four-year period of intensive consultations with the authorities of the five countries through whose waters the pipelines now pass: Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Environmental monitoring results confirm the low environmental impact from the construction of the Nord Stream-Pipeline.

Nord Stream Managing Director Matthias Warnig said: “Russia and the EU can now benefit from an additional modern, efficient supply route directly connecting the European markets to some of the world’s largest gas reserves in Northern Russia. Nord Stream’s state-of-the-art pipelines have been designed to have an operating life of at least 50 years and will make an essential long-term contribution to Europe’s energy security. We have delivered this ambitious infrastructure project on schedule, on budget and at no cost to European taxpayers.” The 7.4 billion euros investment was funded 30 percent by Nord Stream’s five shareholders and 70 percent by commercial loans from international banks.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte transmitted his good wishes via a video message: 'This is another world-class joint achievement. (...) It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Nord Stream project. (...) Some 66,000 people in our country earn their living directly or indirectly in the gas sector. And it’s a sector with growth potential. That alone explains the Netherlands’ ambition to remain the gas hub for North-western Europe.'

Gasunie CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board Paul van Gelder said: ‘It is our mission to develop the right infrastructure in time so that natural gas can contribute to a sustainable energy mix in the future. Now that we are facing important choices in energy policy to achieve a clean and affordable energy supply, the Netherlands and Europe should rely on gas. This is also an important step in the realisation of the gas roundabout strategy of the Netherlands. The fact that Nord Stream has realised this project within time and budget is a huge achievement. We are proud to have contributed to this in excellent cross-border cooperation with the other shareholders.'

More information: press@gasunie.nl

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