NEL PIPELINE PROJECT


Germany

ACTIVITIES

Construction
Pipeline

NEL Pipeline (usually mentioned together with OPAL pipeline) is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe, connecting the “Nord Stream” Baltic Sea pipeline to the European long-distance gas grid network, providing an annual supply of 55 billion cubic metres of gas.

The NEL Pipeline (56 inch – OP 100 bar) is a 440 km long interconnecting pipeline that runs southwest from the “Nord Stream” via the Baltic Sea coast pipeline landing near Greifswald (not far from the German-Polish border) to the existing Northern European pipeline system at Reheden Station, near Diepholz, south of Bremen, in Germany.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

Gas pipeline construction

Pipe Diameter

(inches)

56
 

Lenght

(km)

135
 

A CHALLENGE WITHIN A CHALLENGE

Important parts of the NEL Pipeline project included four major river crossings (Schaale, Boize, Elbe and Weser), using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technology, applied for Bonatti by the Dutch firm Visser & Smit Hanab.

Cooperation with this partner started with the OPAL Project for the execution of HDD crossings on the Dahme River and the Oder-Spree waterline: they were successfully completed in December 2010.

The longest river crossing in the NEL Project was the lower Elbe River near Lauenburg. The 1,073 m long HDD section was completed on 11 November 2011 and was the longest 56-inch HDD project in Western Europe at the time of completion. The capability to perform an HDD project longer than 1 km with a 56-inch or larger diameter pipe depends on many factors, including the pipe’s diameter and wall thickness, the technology used for directing the drilling, soil conditions and the pipe pulling technology used.

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