BBL was constructed in only two years using the most advanced technologies, guaranteeing reliable and safe transport of gas. When the pipeline became operational on 1 December 2006, the gas networks of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom were connected.
The pipeline comprises six parts
- Compression facilities in Anna Paulowna, the Netherlands. Built in 2005 and 2006, the compressor station increases the gas pressure to compensate for losses incurred transport to Bacton. The station's four compressors (three units + spare unit) are electrically driven. Each electrical driven unit has a capacity of 23 MW.
- A four-kilometre onshore pipeline to the dune crossing location near Julianadorp, the Netherlands
- Onshore pipeline from behind the dunes to a location offshore from the coast. A state-of-the-art horizontal drilling method was used to lay the pipeline under the dunes without damaging them.
- A 230-kilometre offshore pipeline with a 36" (90 centimetres) diameter that crosses the North Sea. The pipeline was welded at sea and lowered onto the sea bed at a maximum rate of 4.9 km a day. A cofferdam was built on either side of the offshore pipeline to enable safe connection of the pipeline to the onshore section. The dams have now been removed.
- A one-kilometer pipeline section includes a tunnel crossing the beach at Bacton, from which the pipeline enters a shaft to make up for the cliff elevation. The pipeline leaves the shaft to enter the Bacton Gas Terminal where the BBL Company receiving facilities are located.
- After the arriving gas is reduced to the correct pressure and temperature in the BBL Company receiving facilities, the gas is shipped via an underground pipeline section and leaves the BBL Company receiving facilities to the National Grid gas terminal at Bacton. The BBL Company receiving facilities houses facilities for measuring the quantity and quality of gas, as well as those for controlling the amount, pressure and temperature of the gas. The gas then enters the National Grid system.
- Pipeline diameter: 36" (90 centimetres)
- Pipeline design pressure: 137 bars
- Project life cycle: 50 years
- Daily capacity: 494 GWh
- Hourly capacity: 20,600,000 kWh/h
- Installed compressor station capacity: 4 compressors of each 23 megawatts which includes one full spare