DNV Confirms Feasibility and Maturity of EastMed Gas Pipeline

(P&GJ) — DNV, the independent assurance and risk management provider, has issued confirmation of the Feasibility Statement of the Eastern Mediterranean Deepwater Pipeline (EastMed), a 2,000 km long onshore and offshore natural gas conduit project.

The EastMed pipeline will connect offshore gas reserves from the Levantine Basin to Greece via Cyprus, and further to southeastern European countries in conjunction with Poseidon and Greece-Bulgaria interconnection (IGB) pipelines.

The current design envisions a 1,400-km (870-mile) offshore and 600-km (372-mile) onshore pipeline, with an initial capacity of about 10 billion cubic meters of gas each year; the maximum water depth reached, for a short section of around 10 km, is 3,000 m, in line with other ultradeep-water pipelines already installed in other parts of the world.

“The EastMed Pipeline, together with Poseidon Pipeline, is the most mature project in the Mediterranean area, being now in the final engineering phase, and will reach the start of the commercial operation in 2027,” Fabrizio Mattana, CEO of IGI Poseidon, said. “It will directly connect Europe to the natural gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean basin, also creating opportunities for access to new hydrogen production sites in that area. The project will provide Europe with a new route of gas supply, complementary to LNG, enhancing the energy security and diversification of sources.”

DNV re-issued the feasibility statement following the assessment of the FEED documentation provided by IGI Poseidon SA up to date. This independent appraisal confirmed the technical maturity of the project and the benefits of the early involvement in the design activities of the offshore construction companies, thanks to competitive dialogue established under the ongoing tender process.

The unique context of this project in the Eastern Mediterranean region will allow it to help countries with coal- and heavy crude oil-reliant energy systems transition to the cleaner source that is natural gas in order to reach their net-zero targets and strengthen their energy security.

In particular, the EastMed Project, developed by IGI Poseidon S.A., is meant to respond to the specific needs of regions such as Cyprus or some part of Greece, which are not tightly connected to the continent’s energy system and whose economies rely heavily on energy-intensive users like marine tankers and international aviation. It would also allow countries like Bulgaria to diversify their supplies and increase their energy security.

The policy planning priorities laid out in several EU-members’ National Energy and Climate Plans (ENCP) identify both the reduction/removal of greenhouse gas emissions and their supply security as central for their energy transition.

In line with these ambitions, the EastMed pipeline project was listed as a PCI (project of common interest – cross-border projects identified as central for interconnecting the EU's energy system infrastructure) by the European Commission and received grants from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to carry out technical, economic and environmental/social impact assessments, including detailed seabed surveys.

Following a recent route optimization and geophysical studies, DNV just updated a report on the feasibility of the project, having issued a first one in 2020 covering the pre-FEED activities. Based on the assessment of the extensive design and survey campaign results performed by IGI Poseidon, DNV reviewed the project’s current status from a technical point of view and underlined points to be addressed as the project is completing its FEED phase.

“Projects like EastMed benefit from our extensive experience in technology development and verification of deep- and ultradeep-water gas pipeline projects throughout their lifecycle,” said Santiago Blanco, EVP for Southern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, Energy Systems at DNV. “Over the past decades, DNV has been involved in a number of highly successful projects, including the likes of the Perdido Norte large-diameter pipeline  and the Tahiti-Amberjack pipeline in the deep water Gulf of Mexico, contributing to the consolidation and upgrade of safety and integrity standards for offshore pipelines – which is why a majority of current and new developments are designed to our standard.”

IGI Poseidon SA is currently finalizing the development activities of the project and aims at reaching the conditions required for a positive Final Investment Decision (FID) within 2022.

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