Russian gas pipeline prompts growth in Black Sea

AUGUST 4, 2017—Responding to what it sees as “significant growth” in the Black Sea harbor towing and offshore work market, Dutch towing and salvage specialist Multraship is transferring its 63-ton bollard pull ASD tug Multratug 26 to the Bulgarian port of Bourgas.

Built by Damen, the Multratug 26 is the sixth tug operated by the Bourgas Tug Service, a wholly unit of Multraship.

Pepijn Nuijten, joint-managing director of Multraship, says, “We have seen a significant growth in our Black Sea operations, mainly in harbor towage and in offshore work, not least that involving the Turkish Stream Project (and its predecessor the South Stream project) to build a natural gas pipeline from Southern Russia to Turkey.”

The so-called TurkStream project will bring Russian natural gas from Anapa in Russia to the village of Kiyikoy in Turkey via a 930 km pipeline under the Black Sea. The offshore component of the project is being constructed by PAO Gazprom. TurkStream will reportedly be the first 32-inch sized system laid at depths of over 2 km.

The TurkStream Offshore Gas Pipeline will consist of two parallel gas pipelines stretching for 930 km across the Black Sea, each with a diameter of 81 cm and an annual throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters. TurkStream will be the first pipeline of its size to be installed at a water depth of up to 2,200 metres. One of the pipelines will cater for the Turkish market, while the other will stretch to the Turkish-Greek border to ensure reliable deliveries of Russian gas to the European markets. In line with the schedule, first gas is expected to flow through TurkStream by late 2019.

Back at the end of this past May, the 382m construction vessel Pioneering Spirit arrived in the Black Sea to start preparatory work for deepwater pipelaying.

Nuijten says the ASD FiFi Multratug 26 “will be the best-equipped tugboat in Bulgaria, and its deployment in Bourgas is part of Multraship’s commitment to provide specialist equipment and services in those parts of the world where they are most needed.”

 

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