Construction of the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) floating terminal off the port of Paldiski continues, with both the private investors building the offshore terminal and Elering, which is responsible for installling the gas pipeline, saying they are on schedule to complete the work in November.
Elering is now at the drilling stage of the gas infrastructure installation. This means drilling through sections of the cliff in order to install a pipeline which transports gas from the offshore terminal to the quay, while also reducing potential damage to the surrounding natural environment.
"A drill with a diameter of almost a meter will be put through the rock here and then steel casing will be put in place. A gas pipe, through which the gas will eventually flow, will then be installed inside the steel casing, " explained Priit Heinla, Elering's Offshore Grid development manager.
Although initial estimates suggested drilling of the 60-meter-long section would take much longer, Heinla says the work will now be completed in less than a week.
The total length of the connection from the gas compressor station to the haulage tunnel is around 1.2 kilometers.
Elering's construction work on the new connection will be divided into four major phases. First, the onshore pipeline from the compressor station to the sea will be installed. Then, the offshore pipeline connecting the shore to the haulage canal will be put in place. After that, the gas equipment can be installed in the haulage canal. Finally, to enable natural gas to be exported from the floating terminal to the quay, a connection will be established between the two.
According to Heinla, Elering's work is currently on schedule.
"We have certainty when it comes to almost all the equipment, though we are still missing some. If we were to explain it in terms of a traffic light (system), we have almost everything on green, though some are still an issue. But we also have time," Heinla said.
He added that there is never a 100 percent guarantee when it comes to a large construction project like this, but Elering hopes to have its part completed by the end of November.
Marti Hääl, chairman of the board of fuel company Alexela, which previously completed dredging work at the Paldiski site, said the construction at Pakrineeme on the nearby Pakri peninsula is also going according to plan, and concrete work has now begun.
"Today you can say that the most significant technological innovations and approaches in the construction process, which had not previously been used in this region, for example, in relation to concrete work, have proven themselves effective, and all other (potential) risks seem to have been mitigated," Hääl said.
"For our part, we are sure today that we can carry out our own construction work and the quay, where the floating terminal could be installed, will be ready," he added.
Editor: Michael Cole