When it is completed, the Artère de l’Adour gas pipeline will run for almost 100 kilometres from Arcangues to Coudures in the south-west of France. This new pipeline is being constructed by the French gas supplier TIGF. The Artère de l’Adour will enable TIGF to improve gas supply in the local region and provides a connection between Spain’s Basque Country and the wider European gas network.
The pipe for the new gas line was provided by long-term ArcelorMittal customer, Corinth Pipeworks of Greece. Incorporated in 1969, Corinth Pipeworks is one of the world’s leading steel pipe manufacturers for the oil and gas industry and a major supplier of hollow sections for the construction sector.
Corinth Pipeworks’ involvement in the Artère de l’Adour project began in late August 2013 when TIGF placed an order for almost 100 kilometres of high-frequency induction (HFI) pipe with a diameter of 610 mm. The tight timeframe of the project meant that Corinth Pipeworks had just six months to fulfil the order. This included sourcing the steel, forming and coating the pipes and shipping them to TIGF.
“We immediately contacted ArcelorMittal as we knew from experience that they could supply the quality steel we required,” notes Nicholas Sarsentis, Hot Rolled Coil Procurement Director for Corinth Pipeworks. “We’ve had very good cooperation for a long time and know that ArcelorMittal is a reliable steel partner.”
The choice of ArcelorMittal as the steel supplier ensured that Corinth Pipeworks did not need to wait for approval from TIGF. “ArcelorMittal supplied the hot rolled coils from its mill at Fos-sur-Mer near Marseille in southern France. The fact that they were a reputable and local French supplier was a benefit,” says Nicholas Sarsentis. “If we had chosen another steel supplier TIGF may have had to evaluate them first.”
To manage the project, ArcelorMittal and Corinth Pipeworks established their own project teams. The ArcelorMittal Fos-sur-Mer team tracked the order continually, providing information to their counterparts at Corinth Pipeworks on a daily basis. The close cooperation ensured there were no major issues during the project.
TIGF specified a demanding steel grade which has high tensile strength and excellent toughness at low temperatures. “TIGF’s specifications on the steel, finished pipe, and delivery were quite demanding,” says Nicholas Sarsentis. As well as specifying that Corinth Pipeworks should ship the finished pipe to ports on the Bay of Biscay coast, TIGF requested that disruption to local communities and the environment should be minimised during delivery.
The first coils were shipped from ArcelorMittal to Greece in November 2013. “We have regular deliveries by ship from ArcelorMittal Fos-sur-Mer to the port near Corinth Pipeworks almost every week,” explains Nicholas Sarsentis. To meet Corinth Pipeworks’ just-in-time delivery schedule, shipments of coils for this project were made progressively.
The final batch of coils was delivered to Corinth Pipeworks in December 2013. “ArcelorMittal was able to meet our schedule which in turn enabled us to meet the stringent delivery requirements set by our customer,” notes Nicholas Sarsentis. “At the end of the project, ArcelorMittal had a satisfied customer and so did Corinth Pipeworks.”
With deliveries of pipe now complete, TIGF is finalising the construction of the Artère de l’Adour pipeline. After final testing and approval, the first gas is expected to flow along the line this year.