The most complicated works of the construction stage of the project of the gas pipeline link between Lithuania and Poland (GIPL) are further continued.
German contractor LMR Drilling is carrying out environmentally-friendly works after successfully laying the section of the gas pipeline under the River Neris in June. This week it has launched the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) works of laying the gas pipeline under the River Nemunas in Alytus region.
Two pipes will be laid under the largest river of the country, at 20 metres depth. Both pipes will be laid next to each other, in parallel, ensuring safe gas supply. When maintenance works are carried out in one pipe, gas can be further transported via the other pipe at the usual regime, without any disruption.
“In all projects of this scale, HDD works are probably the greatest challenge,” said Managing Director of Amber Grid Nemunas Biknius. “Smooth completion of the works under the River Neris was an excellent rehearsal. We hope the gas pipeline laying under the River Nemunas will be smooth as well. Proper quality of project management and attention to risk management guarantee timely completion of the gas pipeline important not for Lithuania only.”
HDD technology is used when laying pipelines in urbanised locations or locations of difficult access. When drilling a pipeline under rivers, wooded areas of riverbanks, water fauna and flora are preserved so that the natural environment is sustained without causing any damage to it.
The international gas pipeline link will be completed by the end of 2021. Two-thirds of the construction works are planned to be carried out this year.
The gas link between Poland and Lithuania is intended not only to ensure energy supply security. Together with the whole energy infrastructure developed in Lithuania, including the Klaipėda LNG terminal and the link between the countries that opened the Finnish gas market, the new link will bring economic benefits, which will be reflected in gas prices.
The GIPL link will have a capacity of transportation of up to 27 terawatts per hour (TWh) gas per year in the direction of the Baltic States and up to 21 TWh in the direction of Poland per year. Upon implementation of this project, the Baltic gas markets will become a part of the common European Union gas market.