Nord Stream consists of two parallel pipelines that link Vyborg in Russia with Greifswald in Germany, passing through the Baltic Sea. A strategic infrastructure that also symbolizes the new era of exchange and cooperation between Europe and Russia.
The project was commissioned and developed under the supervision of Nord Stream AG, an international joint venture composed of Gazprom (51%), Wintershall - a BASF subsidiary (15,5%), E.ON Ruhrgas (15,5%), N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie (9%) and GDF SUEZ (9%).
Nord Stream AG chose Saipem for its experience and reputation for innovation, best methods, schedule and technical approach, commissioning the company to lay the two sections of pipelines in their entirety. Saipem met the challenge with a Task Force Team and with two of its prize vessels, the Castoro 6 and Castoro 10, suitably refitted and modernized, along with the subcontracted Allseas DP vessel Solitaire and an overall fleet of more than 40 support vessels. Saipem’s task was to lay the two 48” pipelines, with wall thickness ranging from 26.8 mm to 41 mm and concrete weight coating thickness from 60 mm to 110 mm. It also included the management of other construction activities like Survey, Crossings Preparation, Rock Placement, Trenching and Backfilling and shore approach Pipe Pulling Operations in Germany and Russia.
The total length of 2448 km makes the project both unique and revolutionary in its construction procedures.
The Baltic Sea is considered a fragile ecosystem, with limited exchange of water with the North Sea and very low oxygen levels in deeper waters. During the execution of the project, tailored operations have been designed to safeguard this unique natural habitat. A detailed and rigorous programme of environmental and social controls is in progress, extending up to 2016.