Swiss major offshore pipelay and subsea construction company Allseas laid 82 percent of the TurkStream natural gas project's first line without any delays so far, according to Pieter Smit, senior project manager at Allseas.
Smit, the project manager responsible for the TurkStream project in an interview with Anadolu Agency last Wednesday said he considers the TurkStream project, which he has worked for since 2014, one of the most challenging in his career.
"We had a very tight schedule and we partially had a new crew. This is also the first pipelaying project for the Pioneering Spirit. Despite all of this, 24-hour work is continuing," he said.
"For TurkStream, we don’t foresee delays. The plan looks feasible and we know what to do. We expect to complete the first line in spring this year," he added.
"Around 764 kilometers of the first line has been laid. Considering the total length of approximately 930 kilometers, 82 percent has been completed," he said.
Smit added that up to the border of the Turkish and Russian exclusive economic zones in the Black Sea, around 224 kilometers of the second line of the project that will run into Europe has also been finished.
Allseas' Pioneering Spirit is the biggest pipelaying vessel in the world and also undertakes offshore dismantling of oil and gas infrastructure. The TurkStream project was the first in which it debuted its pipelaying capabilities.
The Pioneering Spirit is performing well and safely for the TurkStream project, he said, breaking many speed records in the industry. The vessel has received 80,000 pipe joints since the beginning of the project via cargo from marshalling yards in Varna, Samsun, Trabzon, Burgas and St. Petersburg.
Allseas has six ongoing projects including the current TurkStream, employs 3,000 and has undertaken over 300 projects so far.
- Captain happy with progress
During the interview in the Netherlands, Anadolu Agency reporters received up-to-date information via teleconference connection to the Pioneering Spirit’s captain Fred Regtop.
"We are proceeding nicely and on schedule in Turkish waters now. We are moving as planned, and we will finish the first line of the project this spring. We have now passed 764 kilometers," the captain, who also worked for the Nord Stream I project from Russia to Europe, reported.
The TurkStream project will run from Anapa on the Russian coast to Kiyikoy in the Turkish Thrace region. It consists of two lines, the first of which will cater for Turkey with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters, while the second line of equal capacity is planned to serve Europe. The project is planned to become operational at the end of 2019.
South Stream Transport B.V., a Gazprom subsidiary based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is responsible for the construction of the gas pipeline's offshore section.
By Murat Temizer and Baris Saglam in Delft, Netherlands