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Project ABB NordBalt, Lithuania

Utmost complex HDD operations completed successfully in Lithuania.


The state of Lithuania, represented by LitGRID, agreed on a contract with Svenska Kraftnät (represented through ABB for cable installation) for delivering electric energy to Lithuania. ABB's role was being the supplier and installer of high voltage cables. In this regard ABB was looking Europe-wide for a specialised HDD contractor, capable of doing landfalls and utmost complex HDD operations.

As such, ABB audited various HDD contractors, amongst others LMR, respectively the LUDWIG FREYTAG group as well, being well known for outstanding performance on complex outfall sites related to cable projects and wind parks.

That background and a well-engineered HDD concept allowed to persuade ABB awarding the subject works to LMR. Scope of these works were the turn key delivery of HDD services (including pipe and earth works) for A) drilling first two outfalls on the west side of the Courland spit and B) drilling afterwards two crossings of the Courland lagoon.

The outfalls had a design length of ≈ 800 m, the lagoon crossings had a design length of 1650 m, the product pipe inside diameter was limited to minimum 300 mm.

Most challenging factors were a rather short execution period (total time 3 months) and the fact that soil investigation reports did not exist. Making best of the given situation LMR developed a working programme that covered about 95% of all eventualities.

That happened in close collaboration with ABB and included also various plan B, plan C and plan D scenarios.

Based on the above the HDD equipment was send on October 7th 2014 to Lithuania, drilling works started on October 14th and all crossings were completed on November 17th, respectively the last truck was loaded out on November 28th.

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