A ceremony was held in Chelyabinsk, Russia, to celebrate the shipment of the first batch of large-diameter pipes for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

The event, which was attended by Boris Dubrovsky, governor of Chelyabinsk, marked the occasion of the first 3.3kt of pipes produced by the ChelPipe Group making their way to the construction site.

The pipes used steel produced by one of the world's largest steel producers and leading Russian metals company OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK).

The ChelPipe Group won a tender for large-diameter pipe shipments for Nord Stream 2 in March 2016. Under the contract, it will supply approximately 600kt of large-diameter pipes, including more than 80kt by the year end.

The first 3,300 tonnes batch of pipes was produced by ChelPipe Group using steel made by OJSC Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works ("MMK").

Pavel Shilyaev, CEO of MMK, who also attended the ceremony, said that MMK and ChelPipe shared a longstanding history of partnership. “Today we see our relationship as a strategic one. This is represented by the investments, which both companies have recently made. These investments allowed both enterprises to achieve leading positions in high-tech production of large-diameter pipes and thus to take part in this project.”

Andrey Komarov, a ChelPipe Group shareholder and co-chairman of the Fund for the Development of the Pipe Industry of Russia, said that, since the early 2000s, private investments into technological ‘re-equipment’ of the Russian pipe and metal industries have exceeded 400 billion rubles. He said that Russia gained access to all the production facilities required for the implementation of land and underwater gas pipeline projects.

“The high quality of the domestic pipe production industry is further confirmed by the fact that Russian pipe companies play a major role in one of the most complex global projects – Nord Stream 2 – in which the share of Russian pipes will reach 60%,” Komarov said.

Henning Kothe, chief project office of Nord Stream 2, said that all parties connected with the Nord Stream project are focused on achieving the highest environmental, technical and safety standards.

“ChelPipe completed certification of its large-diameter pipes in line with the Det Norske Veritas standard. Furthermore, it carried out Nord Stream AG’s pre-qualification audit, which confirmed the high technological effectiveness and safety of the production process as well as the high professional level of the personnel,” he said.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will stretch across the Baltic Sea from Russia’s Baltic coast to the German coast near Greifswald. The design capacity of two lines will amount to 55 billion cubic metres per year with a minimum service life of 50 years.