Oilfield service company Saipem has secured a contract from Polish gas grid operator Gaz-System to transport and install a natural gas pipeline between Denmark and Poland in the Baltic Sea.

The contract is valued at approximately $305m (€280m). It covers the construction of approximately 275km of 36-in concrete-coated pipes between Denmark and Poland. This will be done in water depths of 4m to 57m, via the S-lay method.

Furthermore, the company will also construct two micro tunnels and civil works activities in Denmark and Poland. This includes pre- and post-lay trenching, as well as backfilling activities and rock dumping.

According to Saipem, contract works will start immediately.

Developed by a joint venture between Gaz-System and Energinet.dk, the Baltic Pipe project is a strategic infrastructure project. It is co-financed by the European Union to create a new inter-European gas corridor which will supply gas directly from Norway to the markets in Poland, Denmark, and other surrounding countries.

Saipem E&C Offshore Division COO Francesco Racheli said: “This new contract, assigned thanks to our solid track record in pipeline installation projects and arriving at a critical moment for the energy industry worldwide, will help ensure the continuity of European gas supply and reinforces Saipem’s presence in such a highly strategic area.”

A Gaz-System spokesperson said Saipem will start preparing sites in Poland and Denmark from the second half of this year. It will also carry out works necessary for micro-tunnelling, including launching pipeline pre-lay route surveys.

Vessels preparing the seabed for pipeline installation will mobilise in the Baltic in the first half of next year (H1 2021), with pipelaying starting in the summer of next year.

Gaz-System president Tomasz Stępień said: “Signing this contract, together with the agreement for pipe supply already in place, is key for the implementation of the Baltic Pipe project.

“At present, we already have binding agreements with all the main contractors and suppliers necessary to start construction of the gas pipeline to connect the Danish and Polish shores.”

The operation of the pipeline is scheduled for October 2022.