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28.08.2017

IfAÖ provides the scientific bases for Nord Stream 2-pipeline

Major contract includes ecological surveys, environmental-based permit applications and environmental monitoring.

It is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe: the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (NSP-2) over a length of 1,200 kilometers between Russia and Germany. For the last two years, the Institute for Applied Ecosystem Research (IfAÖ), a member company of the GICON Group, has been carrying out ecological surveying and preparing environmental application documents. The work on this was successfully completed in spring 2017. Several thousand pages of documents for the official permitting procedure have been produced to support the goal - the planned start of construction in 2018.

IfAÖ utilizes experience from the Nord Stream project

Back in 2006, IfAÖ was awarded the contract for similar scientific services in the run-up to construction of the Nord Stream pipeline. After completion of construction, detailed environmental recovery monitoring, which documented the renaturation, was carried out. IfAÖ Authorized Representative Frank Wolf: "The fact that we received the Nord Stream 2 contract underscores our ability to carry out large-scale projects with international partners in a scientifically-founded, economically-efficient and timely manner." A private research institute, IfAÖ has been researching and evaluating terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems for more than 25 years.

Similar to the original Nord Stream project, which was put into operation in 2011 and consists of two natural gas pipelines, it is planned to route the two future NSP-2 pipelines, each capable of transporting 27.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, through the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones (EEZ’s) of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. The planned origin is near St. Petersburg (Russia). After a Baltic Sea crossing, the planned landing is located near Lubmin on the German Baltic Sea coast. In developing the NSP-2 project, improving security of supply, supporting European climate initiatives and strengthening the European energy market played a key role. Nord Stream 2 AG is the project developer, owner and operator for this well-known megaproject. Nord Stream 2 AG along with its shareholder, PJSC Gazprom, is supported by the European energy companies ENGIE, OMV, Shell, Uniper and Wintershall, which are involved in the financing of the project.

IfAÖ provides ecological and technical know-how

IfAÖ has been working intensively on the NSP-2 project since autumn 2015. On the basis of the ecological investigations and surveys as well as the technical explanatory report (created by the firm IMPaC Offshore Engineering GmbH), the route of the future pipelines was planned. On the basis of the submitted application documents and the results of public participation, the public authorities are to decide on the permitting of the project. In addition to economic and ecological interests, the needs of fishing, tourism and shipping industries must also be considered. In detail, the work of IfAÖ included a wide range of environmental surveying and investigations, both onshore near the planned landing as well as offshore within German territorial waters or the EEZ. Some of these surveys, for example, for grey seals or staging birds, were carried out continuously over an entire year; other surveying was done seasonally or during relevant periods (e.g., during the breeding season). The work was carried out on land (for example, for reptiles / amphibians and bats), by ship, from the air with DAISI (Digital Aerial Imaging System from IfAÖ) camera technology developed by IfAÖ as well as underwater with video systems and divers.

Werner Piper, in his position as Managing Director, and Peter Feuerpfeil, in his role as Project Manager, described the advantages of the GICON Group in this context: "A big compliment to all involved! Performing this wide range of services on a tight schedule was a logistical and organizational challenge – one which we have successfully mastered. Within the company group, tasks was accomplished together spanning several locations. The branches in Dresden and Leipzig, for example, supported us with project and data management.”

Altogether, more than 140 employees and freelancers have worked more than 50,000 hours on the project. On the basis of these concerted efforts, the client was able to deliver a timely, scientific product to the authorities which also enabled Nord Stream 2 AG to adhere to its future project schedule. IfAÖ will continue to support the client until the construction permit has been granted. Commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is scheduled for the end of 2019.

[Translate to en:] Europipe in Mülheim an der Ruhr produziert 90.000 Großrohre für Nord Stream 2. Jedes ist zwölf Meter lang und hat einen Durchmesser von 1.153 Millimeter. Nachdem die Rohre fertig geschweißt sind, werden sie von außen und innen inspiziert. Ultraschall- und Röntgenuntersuchungen identifizieren mögliche Fehler am Material oder den Schweißnähten. Mehr als die Hälfte der Produktionsschritte im Europipe-Werk dienen der Qualitätskontrolle. | Foto: Nord Stream 2 / Wolfram Scheible

Europipe in Mülheim in the Ruhr produces 90,000 great pipes for the north Stream 2. Every pipe is twelve metres long and has a diameter of 1. 153 millimetres. After the pipes are ready welded, they are examined from the outside and inside. Ultrasonic investigations and x-ray examinations identify possible mistakes in the material or the welds. More than half of the production steps in the Europipe work serve the high-class control.

Nord Stream 2 will be built in harmony with the Baltic Sea, ensuring that its unique ecosystem is protected. The project will benefit from the extensive expertise gained with the implementation of the existing Nord Stream Pipeline. | Source: Axel Schmidt