On January 8, 2019, an offshore gas receiving terminal and a floating storage and regasification unit called Marshal Vasilevskiy were put into operation in the Kaliningrad Region.
Prior to that event, the Kaliningrad Region used to receive natural gas via the transit gas pipeline Minsk – Vilnius – Kaunas – Kaliningrad.
In order to enhance the region’s energy security taking into account its geographical setting, Gazprom carried out an alternative gas supply project focused on liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries by sea.
To that end, a gas receiving terminal was built in the offshore and coastal areas of the Baltic Sea. A key component of the terminal is a fixed marine berth with a breakwater. This facility is unique as far as domestic engineering practices are concerned. It is located 5 kilometers from the shore, where the sea is about 19 meters deep, which allows the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) to be moored.
The berth is a 125.5-meter monolithic slab of high-strength concrete resting on 177 piles. Special equipment for receiving gas is installed on top of the slab along with mooring devices. The berth is protected from waves with a robust 728-meter C-shaped breakwater. The breakwater has a complex structure, with 29 metal cylinders (20 meters in diameter, 21 meters in height, and weighing over 200 tons each) placed along the full length of the stone foundation (so-called stone base) that rests on the seabed. The cylinders are filled with rubble and their outer surface has an anticorrosion polymer coating. From the seaward, the cylinders are bolstered by a mound of rocks (weighing up to 6 tons each) and more than 20,000 special reinforced concrete blocks (tetrapods weighing from 7.8 to 25 tons).
This berth was designed so as to help the vessel operate safely and to withstand severe storms, which are not uncommon in the Baltic Sea.
Marshal Vasilevskiy is the only FSRU in Russia. The vessel transports LNG (174,000 cubic meters of reservoir capacity) and performs regasification operations, converting LNG to gaseous form. The FSRU has three regasification lines (including one backup line).
The regasification process starts at the FSRU as soon as the vessel is moored at the berth. Liquefied gas is converted to gaseous form and fed into the existing gas transmission system via a newly-built 13-kilometer connecting gas pipeline. Afterwards, gas is delivered to consumers or injected into the Kaliningradskoye UGS facility.
Thanks to the terminal and the FSRU, up to 3.7 billion cubic meters of gas can be delivered by sea on an annual basis. If necessary, the new facilities will meet the current and future needs of the Kaliningrad Region.