The President called the inauguration of the Izhora Pipe Plant, a plant manufacturing large-diameter pipes for oil and gas pipelines, a major event for the development of the Russian energy sector in light of the major projects now underway to build undersea gas pipelines, new oil pipelines in Siberia and possible pipeline networks in the Far North. Furthermore, the plant’s pipes will also be needed for the repair and upgrade of existing pipeline systems.
Izhora Pipe Plant is a closed joint-stock company that is part of the Severstal Group. It has annual output of 600,000 tons of pipes with a diameter ranging from 610–1420 millimetres. The pipes’ length – up to 18.3 metres – will enable a 1.5-fold reduction in the number of welded joints in the pipelines, reducing costs for consumers and making the pipelines more reliable, which is particularly important in the construction of high-pressure gas pipelines.
Total investment in the plant comes to around $600 million, making this one of the biggest investment projects in the economy of St Petersburg and the Northwest region of Russia over the last decade. The plant will provide jobs for 1,000 people once it begins operating at design capacity.
Work began on the plant in the spring of 2004. Leading international machine-tool companies such as SMS Meer GmbH, CRC Evans Pipeline International, Inc. and Selmers were involved in the project.
The President noted the good market prospects for the plant’s products and congratulated everyone who took part in its construction, including the foreign partners.