Safeguarding the gas pipes in the river March with submerged vans

The March is a border river between Austria and Slovakia with valuable ecological habitats.
However, only very few people know that at one location seven pipes cross under its surface in order to supply Western Europe with gas.

But the March has dug deeper and deeper over the past decades and the gas pipes are therefore covered with less and less bed material. It was clear to those responsible: The digging must be stopped to safeguard the gas supply.

The gas pipeline operators Gas Connect Austria GmbH and Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH commissioned RIOCOM to solve this difficult task in a sustainable and careful manner for the environment. In this process, we were able to bring in 16 years of experience at the river March.

How did the solution look like?

  • Preparation of a study with different solution variants.
  • Selection of the most sustainable variant in the form of submerged vans.
  • Expansion of the planning team by the external hydraulic engineering expert Otmar Grober with his in-depth knowledge about submerged vans.
  • 8 submerged vans will shift the flow from the shore to the middle of March and increase the coverage of the seven gas pipes and protect them sustainably.

After a one-year planning phase and numerous permits in Austria and Slovakia, the construction was implemented in August and September 2017. We are looking forward to seeing the changes in the river!

More information about the project can be found in the Gas Connect Austria newsletter Natural Gas in Focus 27/2017.