Tskhinval (South Ossetia) hosted the celebrations dedicated to bringing onstream the Dzuarikau – Tskhinval gas pipeline. Taking part in the event were Vadim Brovtsev, Deputy Head of the Republic of South Ossetia, Alexander Ananenkov, Deputy Chairman of Gazprom Management Committee, as well as representatives of the republican authorities.
“The Dzuarikau – Tskhinval gas pipeline start-up will give a powerful impetus to the economic revival in South Ossetia and will considerably increase social stability in the Republic. The gas supply security will be materially increased in South Ossetia through the use of this gas pipeline.
Construction of Dzuarikau – Tskhinval has no equals worldwide in terms of sophistication and can claim for a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most highland gas pipeline in the world. In addition to its great socio-economic significance, the project also turns a new page in the history of gas pipelines construction in high mountains,” stated Alexander Ananenkov.
The Dzuarikau – Tskhinval gas pipeline was constructed in a harsh geological and climatic environment of the mountainous part of the Great Caucasus. Almost a half of the route (75.4 km) passes through highlands at a height of over 1,500 m in the areas of high seismic activities and the hazards of landslides, mudflows, and avalanches. Such hazardous areas may stretch up to several thousand meters, while the tectonic fault lines may vary in length between 2 and 15 km. There were constructed 15 tunnels with the total length of 1,848 m and 29 water crosses. The route crosses five mountain ridges and rises to the point of 3,148 m at the Kudar Pass.
South Ossetia is supplied by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from Russia and by pipeline gas via the Agara – Tskhinval gas lateral from the Tbilisi – Kutaisi gas trunkline. None of these routes is fully reliable. Uninterrupted LPG supply to the republican population centers largely depends on the complex natural and climatic conditions (mountainous area, frequent snowdrifts, avalanches, rockfalls and mountain creeps). The risk of supply interruptions through the gas pipeline running across Georgia is considerably high due to geopolitical reasons.
Since August 2008 Gazprom has been taking actions aimed at reconstructing gas supply facilities in the Republic of South Ossetia ruined as a result of armed hostilities. Over this period a gas distribution station was constructed anew and gas distribution networks were fully reconstructed in Tskhinval. On January 24, 2009 natural gas supply to consumers was resumed.