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Amber Grid begins reconstruction of one of the most important gas transmission arteries in Lithuania

Lithuania’s natural gas Transmission System Operator (TSO) Amber Grid has started the reconstruction of sections of the Vilnius-Kaunas gas pipeline, one of the most important gas transmission arteries of the country. By the end of this year, it is planned to relining almost 17 kilometres of gas pipeline sections in the Kaunas and Kaišiadorys districts.

“Amber Grid carries out methodical and regular maintenance of Lithuania’s gas pipeline network,” said Nemunas Biknius, CEO of Amber Grid. “Our priority is to ensure the safety of the gas transmission system and the safety of the communities near the pipelines. We have planned the reconstruction of the Vilnius-Kaunas gas pipeline sections in 2015 and beyond, following inspections of the pipelines and relevant repair work. Each year we inspect 200-300 kilometres of gas pipelines across Lithuania through internal diagnostics and other means. After assessing their condition, we plan repairs or major reconstruction works.”

The reconstruction of the Vilnius-Kaunas gas pipeline sections will be carried out by two companies that have won public tenders. MT Group, a developer of energy and industrial infrastructure, will reconstruct a nearly 15 kilometres long gas pipeline in the territory of Kaunas District. And DS-1, a contracting company, will reconstruct a 2 kilometres section of gas pipeline in the Kaišiadorys district. The total value of the project is more than 13 million euros, excluding VAT. Half of the amount is financed by the European Union’s Structural Assistance Fund.

Parts of the Vilnius-Kaunas gas pipeline will be upgraded to ensure safe and uninterrupted gas transmission, as well as the safety of people living and working in the nearby area. The sections to be reconstructed pass through the urbanised and commercial areas of the Kaunas and Kaišiadorys district municipalities. The works will include the installation of a new pipeline, a modernised remote data transmission system and a modern cathodic protection system. Special trays will be installed to protect the pipeline underneath railways and motorways.

In addition to connecting Lithuania’s two major cities, the pipeline being rebuilt is part of the Lithuanian gas transmission ring and is therefore important for ensuring gas flows in all directions. As Lithuania has become a regional gas transmission hub in recent years, and as it transports very large volumes of gas, it is important to ensure reliable gas transmission in the directions of the EU Member States, taking into account the market needs.

During the reconstruction of a part of the gas pipeline that is important for international gas flows, innovative corrosion rate sensors and a SCADA system will be installed in the gas pipeline, which will allow remote data to be used to draw conclusions on the state of the pipeline. Adequate protection of pipelines against corrosion is an essential measure to ensure the safety and reliability of the gas pipeline system.

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