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Gazprom and ChelPipe sign roadmap to set up production of new-generation pipes

Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Andrey Komarov, Shareholder, Member of the Board of Directors of Chelyabinsk Pipe Rolling Plant (ChelPipe), today signed at the 6th St. Petersburg International Gas Forum a roadmap to set up the production of new-generation pipes.

Pursuant to the document, ChelPipe will develop technologies for Gazprom’s needs to produce longitudinally welded large-diameter pipes (LDP) from conventional as well as high-strength Х80–Х120 steel and pipeline fittings, using laser welding. This method in the LDP series production will be applied for the first time in the world practice.

At present, pipes exceeding 530 mm in diameter are produced exclusively by electric arc welding. It is expected that laser welding will improve the structural strength and load-bearing capacity of pipes and enhance the quality and corrosion resistance of welded seams. Such pipes will increase the service life and reliability of gas pipelines, which is particularly essential for those installed in harsh environmental and climatic conditions like on the Arctic shelf or in areas of high seismic activity.

According to the roadmap, the first batches of serially produced new-generation pipes up to 1,420 mm in diameter and made of steel in grades up to X80 are expected to be delivered to Gazprom in 2020–2021. It is estimated that the Company will need up to 150,000 tons of such pipes per year. Moreover, in 2022–2024 it is planned to produce the prototypes of high-strength pipes adapted for ultra-high pressure from X100 and X120 steel, as well as pipeline fittings, using laser welding.

“Gazprom ensures reliable operation of the world’s longest gas transmission system and builds cutting-edge gas pipelines. The new-generation pipes will take this work to a cardinally new technological level. I am confident that due to the joint efforts of professionals from Gazprom and ChelPipe the planned targets will be achieved,” said Alexey Miller.

“The unique laser welding technology ensures high efficiency and, most importantly, environmental sustainability of production that fully complies with the White Metallurgy principles. The optical fiber laser applied in that technology was developed in Russia. Its use in manufacturing large-diameter pipes at Vysota 239, the modern production facility of ChelPipe, means supporting the innovation potential of the domestic machine-building industry,” said Andrey Komarov.

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