For the gas supply in Europe, a reliable pipeline network has the highest priority. Besides the construction of the main supply routes, the fast and safe installation of the regional country-specific distribution networks play a key role.
Different points of view of all involved parties have to be considered when it comes to the planning of routes and the evaluation of potential installation technologies. Due to a rising public attention paid to environmental issues and landowners´ concerns, the impact of pipeline construction on the surroundings has to be reduced to a minimum. While a large proportion of cross-country pipeline installations are still executed by conventional open-trench methods, trenchless technologies are considered for sensitive crossings or pipeline landfalls. Pipe Express®, as a semi-trenchless method, presents an alternative where open-cut methods would cause high efforts, reducing required right of way (ROW) by 70% with less impact on surroundings.
For the crossings of waterways or protected areas, trenchless solutions are usually considered. Along the TAP route for example, various Direct Pipe® and HDD crossings have been executed. The TAP landfall in Southern Italy (Adriatic Sea) was designed as a pipe jacked casing tunnel, similar to the TurkStream connections in Anapa (Black Sea), Russia.
Proven in more than 160 crossings worldwide, the Direct Pipe® technology has been used in Bulgaria and in Serbia, setting Europe´s distance record of 1,409 meters in 2019 in Serbia. This paper will present the latest trenchless and semi-trenchless pipeline installations along Europe´s major pipeline routes, including examples for the offshore-onshore connection of LNG terminals and gas fields.