A Primer on the Completion of TurkStream Project’s Offshore Phase #Energy
TurkStream is a natural gas pipeline project that will carry 31.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia through the Black Sea basin.
The offshore phase of the project is comprised of two parallel pipelines of 930 km length that run along the Black Sea. This phase was finalized on November 19 in a ceremony attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. This phase which laid two pipelines that are 81 cm wide 2 kms under the sea, utilized the latest technological developments available. The pipes that were produced from a special 4cm steel, measure 12 meters and weigh 9 tons each were assembled on board a construction ship and were later laid down on the sea bottom.
TurkStream is one of the biggest energy infrastructure projects ever developed. Next to having the most sophisticated technological attributes, the project is expected to contribute greatly to the energy security within the region. Starting off at Anapa in Russia, the pipeline will travel all through the Black Sea to arrive at the Turkish Thracian province of Kiyikoy. It will provide natural gas for densely populated and industrialized Western provinces such as Istanbul, Bursa, Kocaeli and Izmit.
While half of the 31.5 billion cubic meters that flow through the pipeline will be used for Turkey’s domestic supply, the other half will be transported to Europe.
The pipes were assembled on board the Pioneering Spirit -the world’s largest and most technologically advanced construction ship. While the average speed of advance was 5 km of pipes laid per day, the ship was able to inlay 6.3 km of pipes in one single day on August 26 –a world record for this kind of operation.
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The building of the terminal station at Kiyikoy is still ongoing. The station, when fully built, will take the natural gas arriving via pipelines from underneath the Black Sea and transfer it to land pipes. BOTAS will, then, construct the initial landline in Luleburgaz. The other landline that will further carry the natural gas over to Europe will be jointly built by BOTAS and Gazprom.
The project’s 31.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas is enough to supple the energy demand of 15 million households.
Following the construction of the land terminal, TurkStream will be finalized by the merging of the sea-land pipes and the running of the tests in 2019. Russia is expected to turn on the valves near the end of next year.
TurkStream will not only benefit all the parties involved in the project by providing energy security for the future, it will also act as a testament to the comradery between Turkey and Russia.
Some further points
- Pioneering Spirit employs more than 500 people
- The pipes were built in Germany, Japan and Russia
- The pipes that were built were stored in Varna and Burgas in Romania, and Samsun and Trabzon in Turkey
- An average of 400 pipes were transferred from these ports on board the ship
- An average of 5 km of pipes were laid per day
- The ship laid 6.3 km of pipes in one day, which was a world record
- Construction in deep seas began on June 23, 2017
- The pipes entered the Turkish Exclusive Economic Zone on November 4, 2017
- Initial pipelines were completed on April 30, 2018
- The construction on the second pipeline began on June 26, 2018
- The second pipeline -and thus, the offshore phase of the project, was completed on November 19, 2018
- The pipes are the widest ever (81 cm diameter) laid in water as deep as 2,200m
- A total of 158,000 pipes of 12 m length and 9 tons weight were used
- Each pipeline is 930 km long
- Natural gas is expected to start to flow at the end of 2019
- When fully operational, TurkStream will flow 31.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually
- Half of the natural gas transported via TurkStream will be used domestically, while the other half will be transported for use in Europe
- Pioneering Spirit weighs as much as 8 times the weight of Titanic at 403,342 gross tons
- The ship’s deck is as large as 6 soccer fields
- The ship is as long as 8 jumbo jets at 477 meters length and 124 meters width
- The project employs tens of thousands of personnel from 40 different countries