Underwater gas route – from the seabed to Yorkshire
The 1200-km underwater Langeled Pipeline is a remarkable environmental and engineering achievement. The £1.7-billion project transports about 20% of the UK’s natural gas requirements from the Nyhamna terminal in Norway to the Easington gas terminal in England. However, before construction began, planners had to sketch the project’s route and overcome unique and complex challenges including
- underwater surveying
- excavating rocks from the seabed
- levelling underwater terrain to lay the pipeline.
Environmental and archaeological studies
Specialists from RSK companies converged in Yorkshire to begin ecology, noise, vibration, emissions and archaeology studies. Later, RSK personnel would write the environmental impact statement for the final report. The project’s three-year timeframe was meticulously planned, so RSK needed all its expertise to complete its scope of work on schedule.
Through meetings and collaborations with local authorities and engineers, an RSK landscape team completed landscape and visual impact assessments and developed a landscape strategy for the planning submission. RSK’s landscape mitigation proposals involved converting more than 9 ha of arable land into species-rich grassland, and creating and restoring a 5.5-km hedgerow corridor to the nearby Yorkshire Wildlife Park. An off-site, 2-ha native woodland was created as a stepping-stone feature and habitat along the green corridor.
An RSK-managed archaeology dig unearthed late Iron Age and early Roman farming settlements, including trackways, roundhouses, tools and cremated remains. All work was completed successfully and on schedule. The Easington gas terminal now is integral to bringing Norwegian natural gas to British homes and businesses.