Complex welding operation

Jan 11, 2022 | Case |

EMS welders had to watch their step when they were working at Egtved Compressor Station. Here, EMS was to create a temporary supply pipe/bypass on the two 30” gas pipelines – Lillebælt Nord and Frøslev II – right in the heart of the Danish gas infrastructure. The job had to be carried out while the Baltic Pipe project was underway at the compressor station, thus ensuring a temporary gas supply.

The job was carried out for Energinet, and for EMS these special bypass jobs depend on a unique and particular set of skills.

“Our work included the design and calculation of pipes for 80 bar natural gas. Gas pipes were welded and drilled while in operation, with extensive safety measures. We experienced a few minor challenges along the way, but everything was solved through good collaboration,” says Senior Sales Engineer Martin Schneider, who had the overall responsibility at EMS.

The Baltic Pipe gas pipeline will connect the gas systems of Norway, Denmark, and Poland, and is expected to be operational by the end of 2022. The total cost of the project is DKK 12-16 billion.

Emptied of gas

In addition to the execution itself, EMS was responsible for engineering, procedure, procurement and final documentation regarding the description and procedures of the tie-in part used for the bypass operation.

EMS also performed Hot Tapping on existing pipes in collaboration with T.D. Williamson, with whom EMS has been partnering since 2016.

EMS is the only Nordic partner of T. D. Williamson, who developed the so-called Hot Tapping and Plugging Technology (HT&P). The technology enables pipe re-routing, exposing active, pressurised processes inside the pipes. In this specific case, the technology enabled EMS to weld on pipes with a 60 bar gas pressure on the back.

Many collaborators

EMS has carried out several projects of this type. However, the Egtved project stands out because it was clearly the most extensive, involving 25 employees, says Martin Schneider, who has been in charge of 15-20 bypass jobs. From the time the temporary bypass construction was commissioned, the companies involved had 30 days to connect the two pipelines. The final part of the job was for EMS to also dismantle the seven-tonne 16” bypass pipe.