Location of Medgaz pipeline (in blue)
|From||Hassi R'Mel, Algeria|
|Passes through||Mediterranean Sea|
|Partners||Sonatrach, CEPSA, Iberdrola, Endesa, GDF Suez|
|Operator||Sociedad para el Estudio y Promocion del Gasoducto Argelia-Europa, via Espana S.A.|
|Length||757 km (470 mi)|
|Maximum discharge||8 billion cubic meters per year|
The idea of building a direct gas pipeline between Algeria and Europe arose in the 1970s. However, the technical limitations at that time prevented the construction and operation of an ultra deepwater gas pipeline. The preparation of Medgaz project started in 2001 by founding Medgaz pipeline company (Sociedad para el Estudio y Promocion del Gasoducto Argelia-Europa, via Espana S.A.). The feasibility study carried out in 2002–2003. The construction started on 7 March 2008 in Almeria. Work in laying the subsea stretch was finished in December 2008. The pipeline was officially inaugurated on 1 March 2011.
The pipeline begins from the Hassi R'mel field in Algeria and the first section runs to the port of Beni Saf. The offshore section begins from Beni Saf and the landfall site is at the Perdigal Beach in the coast of Almería, Spain. It will be hooked up to the existing Almería-Albacete gas pipeline.
The length of Algerian onshore section is 547 kilometres (340 mi) and the offshore section is 210 kilometres (130 mi). The initial capacity of the 48 inches (1,220 mm) onshore and 24 inches (610 mm) offshore pipeline will be 8 billion cubic meter (bcm) of natural gas annually. It would be possible to increase the capacity of the first pipeline, and also the option to lay a second same diameter pipeline with minimal extra construction is foreseen.
Total estimated costs of project are €900 million, including €630 million for the offshore section. The Algerian onshore section of the pipeline is to be constructed by UTE Initec - Spie Capag and the offshore section is to be constructed by Saipem. The offshore section of the pipeline was laid by Castoro Sei, Saipem 7000 and Crawler pipe-laying ships. Steel pipes are delivered by Nippon Steel, and three compressor trains were supplied by Dresser-Rand. Lloyd's Register would provide pipeline inspection and certification services, including vendor works inspection for the pipeline and equipment and certification for the onshore and offshore pipe lay and the construction of the compressor station.
The head of the Medgaz company is Pedro Miro. The shareholders of Medgaz consortium:
- Trans-Mediterranean Pipeline
- Greenstream pipeline
- Maghreb–Europe Gas Pipeline
- Trans-Saharan gas pipeline
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