Full compliance with environmental construction standards coupled with environmental risk mitigation has been among Gazprom’s priorities during the construction and operation of Dzhubga – Lazarevskoye – Sochi, as the pipeline runs through one of Russia’s most climatically favorable and thus vigorously protected areas – the Black Sea coast of the Krasnodar Territory. The region is widely known as a nationwide health resort. It is home to beautiful nature reserves, as well as various retreats visited by millions of tourists every year.
All process, engineering and construction solutions used in designing the Dzhubga – Lazarevskoye – Sochi gas trunkline were developed with due account for the natural, climatic and geological conditions in the area. Particular attention was given to identifying the most important environmental aspects of pipeline construction and operation. The design solutions were primarily focused on preventing and mitigating environmental impacts of construction operations, as well as protecting process facilities and systems from natural and man-made hazards with the purpose of reducing the risks of accidents and other emergencies.
The pipeline’s construction schedule took into account the most vital lifecycles of the local fauna species. The offshore part of the route was planned so as to minimize the use of industrial, agricultural and forest land, as well as specially protected natural reservations. It was decided to use directional drilling instead of trenching to construct the landfalls near the Dzhubga, Novomikhailovsky, Tuapse and Kudepsta population centers, which helped considerably reduce impacts on the coastal flora and fauna.
As the pipeline entered construction, the Company adopted a system of industrial environmental monitoring and environmental compliance control to ensure observance of environmental laws and regulations during construction and assembly. The system remained in operation after the pipeline was brought onstream.
With regard to the trunkline’s offshore section, the system provides for the monitoring of sea waters, marine biota, bottom sediments and surface waters, subsurface waters, soils, dangerous exogenic geological and hydrogeological processes, tectonics, and the flora and fauna of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
The pipeline construction project received the following approvals:
- State Environmental Review’s resolution No. 02–44/456 dated August 7, 2008, approved by Order No. 624 of the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostekhnadzor) dated August 15, 2008;
- approvals for special specifications from Rostekhnadzor (No. 11–18/4159 dated October 16, 2008, No. 11–18/4416 dated October 19, 2008) and Regional Development Ministry (No. 27680-SM/08 dated October 28, 2008, No. 30891-IM/8 dated November 25, 2008);
- Russia’s State Environmental Expertise (Glavgosekspertiza) certificate No. 080-09/GGE-5967/02 dated February 16, 2009.
According to rigorous calculations, the environmental impacts of the construction process were localized and short-term.
By using natural gas, including gas-fired heat and power generation from the Adler TPP and elsewhere, Gazprom not only ensured compliance with the IOC’s requirements and provided Olympic facilities with energy without increasing greenhouse gas emissions, but also substantially improved the environment in a region of national importance.
Cathodic polarization is used to protect the gas pipeline against natural factors (temperature increase, heating, rain, humidity) and electrochemical hazards (corrosion damage of hard-to-reach areas and elements, including those located offshore). The project also envisages measures aimed at protecting the pipeline against direct lightning strikes and electromagnetic impacts.
Protection zones were set up in line with the regulations in order to prevent damage to the pipeline (regardless of the pipe-laying methods).
Seismic surveys were performed prior to the design stage. The resulting design solutions allow the pipeline to withstand magnitude-9 earthquakes.
The pipeline route was laid so as to avoid World War II munitions dump sites. Prior to construction, a 100-meter-wide land strip was cleared along the pipeline route.
Today, the gas pipeline is checked for damage and corrosion on a regular basis with the help of special state-of-the-art tools. Appropriate measures will be taken if any damage is detected to ensure the pipeline’s reliable and secure operation.