Poland’s natural gas transmission system operator GAZ-SYSTEM signed a contract with Italian multinational oilfield services company Saipem for the performance of works related to laying the gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea. The scope of the contract covers also the landfalls where the offshore part will be connected with the onshore components in Poland and Denmark and its value was approximately 280 million euros.
“The contract GAZ-SYSTEM signed with Saipem, the offshore Baltic Pipe contractor, means not only that the project obtained all the required construction permits in Denmark and Poland but also that the implementation stage has started,” said Piotr Naimski, the Secretary of State at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, the Governmental Plenipotentiary for Critical Energy Infrastructure. “The investors, both Polish GAZ-SYSTEM and Danish Energinet hold signed agreements with the construction works contractors, having already procured pipes and other technical components necessary for the construction of new and the extension of already existing compressor stations. The Baltic Pipe, the project that is key for Poland’s energy security and of importance to the European Union, is being implemented in strict accordance with the adopted schedule. The gas transmission from the Norwegian shelf to Poland along this new route will start on October, 1, 2022.
The contract covers the following main elements: the construction of two micro tunnels on the Danish and Polish shores and the transport of pipes from the marshalling yard to pipelay vessels, which will then be lowered to the Baltic Sea bottom. It also includes the pipeline installation and its stabilisation as well as the performance of all works to protect both the pipeline and its crossings with other subsea infrastructure and the connection of the offshore pipeline with Baltic Pipe onshore components in Poland and Denmark. Additionally, the performance of tests, participation in commissioning of the offshore part as well as checking its functioning within the rest of the Baltic Pipe infrastructure in both countries, are also key elements.
According to the schedule, first works within Saipem’s scope will be commenced in the second half of this year and, among other things, will consist in preparing landfall work sites in Poland and Denmark, as well as beginning construction, works necessary for micro tunnelling.
“Signing this contract, together with the agreement for pipe supply already in place, is key for the implementation of the Baltic Pipe project,” said Tomasz Stępień, President of GAZ-SYSTEM. “At present, we already have binding agreements with all the main contractors and suppliers necessary to start construction of the gas pipeline to connect the Danish and Polish shores.”
“This new contract, assigned thanks to our solid track record in pipeline installation projects and arriving at a critical moment for the energy industry worldwide, will help ensure the continuity of European gas supply and reinforces Saipem’s presence in a such a highly strategic area,” added Francesco Racheli, Saipem’s COO E&C Offshore Division. “We look forward at swiftly and successfully delivering this important project”.
The complete set of construction permits has been obtained for all elements of the Polish onshore part which consists of about 230 kilometres of new pipelines as well as the extension of two gas compressor stations and construction of a new one. The offshore part to be installed on the Baltic seabed will pass through the marine areas of three countries: Denmark, Poland and Sweden. Both Danish and Polish authorities have already approved construction of all the Baltic Pipe onshore and offshore components. The last of the required permits, for the pipeline section passing through the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone, is expected in the next few months.
Last year, the European Commission granted, under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), nearly 215 million euros for Baltic Pipe construction works. It was yet another example of EU support for the Baltic Pipe project and now it totals the maximum of 266.8 million euros. The Baltic Pipe project has already been recognised by the European Commission as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) four times and has held this status since 2013.