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Monitoring of Nord Stream 2 construction in Russia confirms environmental compliance

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

Nord Stream 2 has completed pipelay activities in the Russian offshore and onshore sections. At the landfall facilities, most of the technical equipment has been installed, while operational buildings are still being built. The onshore linear section was built using an innovative open-cut method relying on trench boxes. This method allowed the minimisation of the construction footprint, by enabling the pulling of pipeline strings through pre-prepared trenches and their joining in the middle of the onshore section.

No more than 0.1% of the Kurgalsky reserve’s territory has been impacted by construction activities thanks to the innovative construction method, which helped minimise the width of the construction corridor and related environmental impacts by 50% compared to the traditional method. Construction activities are supported by a broad range of mitigation and compensation measures in order to achieve a net ecological gain in the region.

The most environmentally significant construction activities are completed. Over the course of the construction works, through 2018 and 2019, the company submitted quarterly environmental monitoring reports.

Comprehensive environmental monitoring involves a number of specialised contractors and independent consultants, including leading scientific institutions and laboratories. Monitoring activities have been ongoing for a year and a half - since the beginning of preparatory work. During this time, the onshore section has been under continuous observation by dedicated onsite environmental advisors and environmental specialists. For the offshore section, there has been over 140 days (more than 15 000 man-hours) of monitoring works performed by the end of the third quarter of 2019.

The environmental monitoring data, covering over one and a half years, confirms that impacts are localised, short-term and do not exceed admissible levels, as estimated in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, namely:

  • Environmental impacts offshore are comparable to natural fluctuations and seasonal changes.
  • No significant impacts on birds, including the migratory species, have been identified as a result of construction.
  • Beyond the construction corridor, no negative impacts on flora and Kurgalsky’s habitats have been observed.
  • Ongoing monitoring have not revealed impacts on the hydrological regime of the Kader Bog.

In line with best industry practices, beyond the requirements of the Russian legislation, Nord Stream 2 AG retained leading Russian and international companies as external watchdogs to oversee compliance with commitments and high environmental standards when working in the Kurgalsky reserve. As such, Royal Haskoning DHV, a leading international engineering and environmental consultancy responsible for compliance with international standards, stated: “It is the opinion of the independent environmental and technical advisor that the project is well managed and follows good environmental management practices.”

The auditors recognise the company’s responsible approach towards project implementation in the Kurgalsky reserve, as well as its continuous efforts to further improve environmental performance by taking onboard received feedback.

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