European gas production has fallen strongly over the past decade as more and more dependence is being placed on supplies from far-flung places such as Azerbaijan, where we find the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea. A new gas pipeline is currently being laid and Beele Engineering is supplying the sealing systems for the section that passes through Turkey.
The Shah Deniz gas field has reserves estimated at 1,200 billion m3 of natural gas and 400 million m3 of condensate. The gas will be transported through the 692-km-long South Caucasus Pipeline via Georgia to Turkey and then onwards to the European Union. TEFKEN INŞAAT VE TESISAT A.Ş. has undertaken the engineering, procurement and construction of compressor and metering stations in the project. This Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) runs from the Georgian/Turkish border to the Turkish/Greek border, giving the pipeline a total length of 1,850 km.
TEFKEN Construction & Installation has been granted the challenging task of bridging this distance in 39 months. The company therefore expects a great deal from the speed and installation friendliness of the systems being used. These are properties which are characteristic of Beele Engineering’s NOFIRNO system; the system is used to seal the cable penetrations in the various regulator and compressor stations along the Turkish stretch of the pipeline. As they are fitted with control equipment, pumps, compressors etc., the stations are of crucial importance in keeping the pressure in the pipe system at the required level. The design pressure along the stretch of pipeline concerned is 95.5 barg.
First and foremost, besides speed and installation friendliness, Beele Engineering’s NOFIRNO system guarantees a fire-resistant and gasproof, smokeproof and waterproof seal for cable and other penetrations. Of importance to the TANAP project is the large number of tests to which the system has been successfully subjected. Particularly striking are the great many successful dynamic and static pressure tests.
Suddenly occurring pressure resulting from an explosion or flood, places extraordinary demands on the quality of the rubber that is used for the cable and conduit transits. This needs to be elastic, it must not deteriorate and it has to be designed in such a way that compression cannot cause stress relaxation or permanent deformation. The NOFIRNO system combines these properties in a single solution. Even under the toughest of conditions, the system retains its mechanical stability. Movements and displacements are absorbed, among other things, by the layer of NOFIRNO sealant on each side of the penetration.
In addition to these dynamic tests, countless static tests, including numerous static pressure tests at 2.5 bar and an endurance test lasting 125 hours at 4 bar were carried out. In addition, service life tests demonstrated that the NOFIRNO system has a 50-year service life.