Tuesday 11 June 2013, Amsterdam
The aim of achieving a nuclear-free energy mix held by several European countries will serve to promote growth in the region’s gas pipeline construction industry, says a business intelligence firm.
The company’s latest report expects the phasing out of nuclear power across Germany, Switzerland and potentially other countries to result in the increased consumption of natural gas, which will in turn necessitate the construction of greater gas transportation infrastructure.
Germany has a target date of 2022 for the closure of its remaining nuclear power facilities and thermal energy is expected to fill the gap while the county’s renewables sector gets up to speed. Russia will be Germany’s primary gas supplier for the foreseeable future, with several currently operational and planned pipelines expected to meet the growing demand.
The Nord Stream twin pipeline system, which covers a distance of 1,224km from Vyborg, Russia to Lubmin, Germany, came online in 2011, while the stalled Yamal-Europe Pipeline Line II, part of the 680km Yamal-Europe gas pipeline owned by EuroPol Gaz SA, may be operational by 2019.
There are also plans for the construction of intra-country pipelines around Europe, which will play an important role in the transitional stages of those nations shifting away from nuclear power, including Switzerland, which aims to shut down the last of its nuclear plants by 2034.
Belgium has also made overtures to a possible nuclear power phase-out in recent years, with the national government deciding to close three of the country’s seven reactors by 2015, following negotiations in 2011. We believes this development will further drive Europe’s pipeline industry.
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