Europe cooperates with Central Asia to prevent leakage in gas pipelines

Sep 29, 2008 02:00 AM

The European Union is providing know-how and technology to Central Asian gas producers to help detect and prevent leakage in gas pipelines.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are participating in the project that has made considerable headway since its launch in Almaty in May 2008. The project is designed to enable the participating countries to identify and meter existing leakages, detect the areas with high likelihood of unintentional gas releases, predict and mitigate the gas leakages before they occur, and establish a region-wide "Incident Reporting Network" to share incident reports and lessons learned.

The entire gas pipeline system of Central Asia, with few exceptions, is a nightmare of hundreds of thousands of kilometres of crisscrossing tubes, including the Central Asia-Centre main trunk of four pipelines, supplying gas to Russia and Europe. The natural wear and tear and inadequate repair and maintenance have led to reduction in throughput capacity. The Central Asia-Centre trunk system is currently capable of transporting only half of the volumes of its designed annual capacity of 90 bn cm.
In addition, known and unexpected leakage in dozens of places is a permanent hazard to man, environment and infrastructure.

EU, under its INOGATE programme, has provided EUR 1.5 mm for the timely and much needed project. The British company WYGI (White Young Green International), with an impressive portfolio of 50 projects in CIS, including 15 in Central Asia, is doing the project on behalf of EU.
Each of the participating countries has identified a 100-km pilot segment of pipeline and a compressor and metering station where WYGI would demonstrate the effectiveness of techniques and technologies leakage detection, prevention and pre-emption. The equipment necessary for the project would be delivered to the participating countries early next year through another European project.

In Turkmenistan, an international team comprising of Russian, American and Azeri specialists has conducted work on the Belek-Garabogaz pilot segment.
WYGI, the company doing the 2-year project, undertakes large-scale projects funded through development agencies and banks, mainly by EU (EuropeanAid).

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