The GIPL gas interconnection connecting the Baltic States and Finland with Western Europe is starting to operate as a full-fledged gas system link. After testing the pipeline at maximum pressure and accomplishing the installation of the GIPL starting point valve site in Širvintos district, the part of the GIPL connected to the operating gas transmission network was filled with gas. Last week, all steel pipes required for the construction of the pipeline were delivered to Lithuania.
After injecting natural gas into the first 35 kilometres of the new gas pipeline, launch harmonisation works are being performed in the section from Jauniūnai gas compressor station in Širvintos district to Elektrėnai. By the end of this year, it is planned to fill the 72 km long GIPL gas pipeline section with gas.
'Having performed 52 percent of the GIPL construction works, we are moving to the second part of the pipeline installation works. By increasing the speed of work, we aim to strengthen the project's resilience to the risks posed by the pandemic. Filling the pipeline with the first gas provides an opportunity to complete a number of other planned works in time, which will allow to achieve this year's goal, i.e. the implementation of 60% of the GIPL construction works, and accomplishment of the entire project by the end of 2021,' says Nemunas Biknius, CEO of Amber Grid, the company implementing the GIPL project of gas interconnection between Lithuania and Poland.
At the end of October, 700 mm diameter steel pipes, which are required to complete the entire 165-kilometre-long GIPL gas pipeline route, were delivered to Lithuania. The cargo was transported from Poland for ten months since the start of construction of the pipeline in January this year. EUR 26.4 million worth steel pipes for the international gas connection were manufactured and supplied by the Polish company Izostal.
At the beginning of November, the forces of the main pipeline contractor Alvora moved from Vilnius and Elektrėnai districts to Alytus and Lazdijai districts to intensively continue the construction of the pipeline thus approaching the Lithuanian-Polish border. Together with the pipeline-laying teams, archaeologists exploring historical findings and environmental specialists continue to work on the GIPL route.
It is planned that the construction of the Lithuanian-Polish gas pipeline will be accomplished by the end of 2021. 111 km of the pipeline have been welded to the strands from January 2020 , when the GIPL project was launched. The pipeline has already been laid in Vilnius, Širvintos, Elektrėnai, Kaišiadorys, Prienai, Birštonas districts and in some parts of Alytus district.
The GIPL connection will be able to transport up to 27 TWh of gas per year in the direction of the Baltic States, and up to 21 TWh per year in the direction of Poland. Following the implementation of this project, the Baltic gas markets will become part of the common EU natural gas market and in the future also the part of the biomethane and hydrogen market.