German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Russian President Dimitry Medvedev symbolically opened the valve on the 1,200 kilometres-long Baltic Sea Pipeline that connects Russia’s natural gas reserves with Europe. Deploying the right pipe tracking system was absolutely essential in the construction process. iTAC Software AG helped to enable this by developing the pipe tracking system on the basis of the iTAC.MES.Suite. It ensured that the first phase of the Baltic pipeline laying process was both safe and efficient.
It's the longest underwater gas pipeline in the world, transporting up to 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas between western and southern Europe every year. The pipeline project company received the German Logistics Award 2010 for its sheer size and the associated logistics performance of all parties involved.
It was the largest construction site in Europe using 1.2 million tons of movable steel from the European and Asian world markets. “Such a gigantic logistics project necessitates absolute transparency and optimum safety, plus perfectly coordinated processes and efficient materials supply,“ explained Thorsten Steger, Project Manager at iTAC. To facilitate this, Nord Stream brought iTAC on board right at the beginning of the project.
Transparency was the key
The iTAC.MES.Suite was used right from the project outset and throughout the entire construction phase as the pipe tracking system of record. From procurement, through transportation to the efficient processing of vast quantities of steel, the MES captured data on all relevant production parameters, test results and individual material movements according to each specific contractor. This enabled the complete documentation of individual segments - in near to real time - and the comprehensive monitoring of the construction process. The objective was to minimise potential risks and prevent installation stoppages.
“The iTAC.MES.Suite made the control and verification of every single step in the process possible. This assisted in the prevention and as required timely correction of errors as they occurred,“ explained Dieter Meuser, CTO at iTAC. As a result, meticulous planning, quality assurance and consistent 24/7 monitoring was possible. The iTAC.MES.Suite made a key contribution to the pipeline being able to commence operations between Germany and Siberia immediately upon completion.
1,224 km long Baltic Sea Pipeline supported by iTAC’s pipe tracking system commences operations