Amber Grid: laying of the gas pipeline under the River Nemunas is launched in the GIPL construction project

The most complicated works of the construction stage of the project of the gas pipeline link between Lithuania and Poland GIPL of great importance for the gas market of Lithuania and the whole region – horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under the rivers of Lithuania – are further continued. German contractors LMR Drilling carrying out environmentally-friendly works after successfully laying the section of the gas pipeline under the River Neris in June, this week have launched the HDD works of laying the gas pipeline under the River Nemunas in Alytus region.

Two pipes of approximately 700 meter length will be laid under the largest river of the country, at the 20-meter depth. Both pipes will be laid next to each other, in parallel, ensuring safe gas supply. When maintenance works are carried out in one pipe, gas can be further transported via the other pipe at the usual regime, without any disruption.

'In all projects of this scale, HDD works are probably the greatest challenge. Smooth completion of the works under the River Neris was an excellent rehearsal. We hope the gas pipeline laying under the River Nemunas will be smooth as well. Proper quality of project management and attention to risk management guarantee timely completion of the gas pipeline important not for Lithuania only', said Managing Director of Amber Grid Nemunas Biknius.

Drilling works when laying the gas pipeline under the Nemunas are carried out in Alytus district, near Punia. A special works ground is installed on one bank of the Nemunas, where mounted equipment brought by the German partners is located. Two strands of welded pipes are already prepared on the other side of the river, which will be laid on the bottom of the Nemunas during the drilling works.  

HDD technology is used when laying pipelines in urbanised locations or locations of difficult access. When drilling a pipeline under rivers, wooded areas of riverbanks, water fauna and flora are preserved, natural environment is sustained without causing any damage to it. 

The international gas pipeline link will be completed by the end of 2021. Two thirds of the construction works are planned to be carried out this year. Since January, when the project implementation was launched, over 120 km steel pipes have been brought from Poland, 98 km pipes have been welded into strands, approximately 47 km pipeline has been laid into the trench.

The gas link between Poland and Lithuania is intended not only to ensure energy supply security. Together with the whole energy infrastructure developed in Lithuania, including Klaipėda LNG terminal, the link between the countries that opened the Finnish gas market, the new link will bring economic benefits, which will be reflected in gas price. 

The GIPL link will have capacity of transportation of up to 27 TWh gas per year in the direction of the Baltic States, and up to 21 TWh in the direction of Poland per year. Upon implementation of this project, the Baltic gas markets will become a part of the common EU gas market.

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