Russia Steps on the Gas How Valve Makers Benefits of Pipeline Construction in the East
Time and again, the media sets its sights on pipelines. Nord Stream, which now is in operation, provided a score of headlines. Construction of South Stream has also started, a triumph for Russia. The USA is experiencing a gas boom, yet exports are trailing behind – at least for the moment. Whatever the case, valve makers always are in the winning team.
In the south of Yemen, terrorists bombed an oil pipeline, whereas Kurdish guerillas attacked a pipeline in Turkey and another oil pipeline was bombed in northern Iraq. Events not only pipeline companies can do without. Russia, on the other hand, has no such problems. Far from it, the country has reason to celebrate its 1,224 kilometre long Nord Stream pipeline, which cost around 7.4 billion euro. Both lines are in operation and have a max capacity of 55 billion cubic metres per year. This gas, which is conveyed from the Jamnortal peninsula and from the Schtokman gas field in the Barents sea, can supply 26 million households in the EU. An impressive number.
Big project, big media: Valve makers have been involved right from the start. Italian manufacturer Petrovalves shipped four shut-off valves weighing 102 tons to Nord Stream. Each of the huge valves is 10.4 metres high and 4.1 metres wide. They were installed at the landfall sites in Russia and Germany. The shut-off valves are located in front of the pig traps, in order to cut the gas off from the pig traps when they are not in service. “The pigs, intelligent inspection gear, are routinely used to look for corrosion or leakage from inside of the pipeline“, states Nord Stream.
Artec AIS was also happy to receive an order for the Baltic Sea pipeline project. The German company built ten class 1.500/ 250 bar ball valves for Wingas, for use at the landfall site in Greifswald, Germany. The all-metal seated valves feature highly efficient wear protection. Compact electro-hydraulic drives with very high positioning precision are installed at the site, states Artec AIS. They ensure „that even in the case of prolonged power outages previously defined switching operations can proceed securely, thanks to energy stored in bladder accumulators“. Although the order wasn't the largest Artec AIS had ever received in terms of valve size and turnover, it was nonetheless a milestone for the company: „Media coverage was strong, as it was a well-known project“, explained CEO Christopher Schroeder.
Valve makers can hope for future opportunities related to pipeline construction. South Stream is one promising example. Behind the project is Russian gas giant Gazprom, who have reached another milestone they can celebrate. The construction of South Stream has already commenced and by 2015/16, the pipelines shall transport Russian gas from the eastern region of the Black Sea to Hungary, Austria, Greece and Italy. By 2018, the maximum capacity will grow to 63 billion cubic metres. Estimates for the four lines, which cover 2.446 kilometres, sum up to around 16 billion Euro.