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GPNK: The last welding operation on the pipeline course has been completed!

Published 16.5.2023

The project Gasoducto Presidente Nestor Kirchner notched up a new milestone on May 12 near La Reforma, in the province of La Pampa, Argentina. This was where the last regular welding operation was carried out on the 573-km-long pipeline crossing four provinces.

Work began to lay the vast President Néstor Kirchner Gas Pipeline (GPNK) in August 2022, the most important energy infrastructure work in Argentina of the last 40 years, for ENARSA, the national energy company. Earthworks, bringing in equipment from Mexico, Peru and the United States, and opening the right-of-way were just the first steps in an incredibly challenging project: originally designed to be completed 24 months, it had to be finished in barely ten.

The regular welding operations began in November last year, and, by January 2023, automatic welding equipment was being deployed simultaneously on all work fronts, a technology brought from the United States and used for the first time in the country. This made it possible to substantially reduce work times, increasing the number of pipes welded per day as well as minimizing errors and providing greater production rate predictability.

On May 12, 2023, work at the GPNK clocked up a new milestone, completing the last weld on the course in the vicinity of La Reforma in the province of La Pampa, just 178 days after the first regular welding was carried out in the provincial town of Salliqueló in Buenos Aires province.

“This achievement is the result of the huge efforts made by the entire project team, the company and the Techint Group. I am extremely proud to witness this degree of commitment and professionalism as well as the unsurpassably high prevention standards to which we are working. The GPNK is an example of the kind of project that presents very complex and demanding technical and constructive characteristics, but which we can manage and overcome when we work in a coordinated way alongside our customers, partners, communities and suppliers,” highlighted Gustavo Gallino, Director General of the Southern Area.

The use of cutting-edge technology meant that the team was able to meet the tight deadlines stipulated by the customer, with work progressing at an average of 2 km of welding per day on each work front. More than 47,700 pipes measuring 12 meters long and 36 inches in diameter have been laid over the last few months, covering 573 kilometers of terrain in the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, La Pampa and Buenos Aires.

The pipeline in numbers

•+1,500 pieces of advanced equipment working on construction.

•+30,000 hours of training.

• Welding rate of 2 km of pipes per day in each section thanks to automatic welding technique.

• 47.700 pipes have been delivered by Tenaris in just seven months.

• +9,500 trips have been made to transport the pipes, a total of 8,619,799 km, to the different stockpiles in the provinces.

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