The Russia-led Nord Stream 2 consortium has reportedly finished laying pipes for the new $11bn gas export pipeline project in German waters.
Reuters reported that the consortium has completed work on a 2.6km-long portion of the pipeline that was halted due to concerns over the US sanctions.
The consortium was quoted by the news agency as saying in an emailed statement: “We have completed this work.”
Reuters reported, citing the Refinitiv Eikon data, that the Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna has left the Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction site in the German section of the Baltic Sea.
In January 2021, the vessel is expected to continue pipe lying work for the gas pipeline project in Danish waters.
The Nord Stream 2 consortium is yet to complete laying more than 100km of pipeline for the project.
Developed by Russia’s state-owned gas export firm Gazprom, the pipeline project is intended to deliver Russian gas to Europe, across the Baltic Sea.
The Nord Stream 2 project will have the capacity to carry 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas. Upon completion, the pipeline is expected to serve approximately 26 million households in Western Europe.
The pipeline originates from eastern Russia and will pass through Finnish, Swedish and Danish waters before terminating near the German coast of the Baltic Sea.
Nord Stream 2 is an expansion of the existing Nord Stream pipeline.
The energy delivered by the pipeline project will be equivalent to the amount of energy transported using between 600 and 700 liquified natural gas (LNG) tankers.
Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline says has completed section in German waters
The Russia-led Nord Stream 2 consortium said on Monday it has completed laying pipes for the project in German waters, finishing work on a 2.6 kilometre-long portion of the pipeline, which had been stalled by the threat of U.S. sanctions.
“We have completed this work,” the consortium said in an emailed statement, referring to the pipe-laying in the German economic zone.
Earlier on Monday, Refinitiv Eikon data showed the Russian pipe-laying vessel Fortuna has left the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction site in Germany’s section of the Baltic Sea.
The Fortuna earlier this month resumed work on the pipeline, which will pump gas directly from Russia to western Europe, bypassing Ukraine. Work had been suspended for a year because of the risks of sanctions from the United States.
The pipeline, which is estimated to cost 9.5 billion euros ($11.6 billion), will make western Europe more dependent on Russian gas and Washington says it will compromise European energy security.
It has become a flashpoint in relations between Russia and the West, which have sunk to post-Cold War lows. The Kremlin has called the sanctions “unfair competition”.
The Fortuna is meant to continue construction of the pipeline in Danish waters next month.
The consortium building the pipeline, led by Russian gas giant Gazprom with Western partners, has still to lay more than 100-km of pipeline, although more than 90% of the project has been completed.
Senior U.S. administration officials said last Wednesday that Washington was urging European allies and private companies to halt work that could help build the pipeline and was preparing wider sanctions on the project in the coming weeks.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday that Russia will have to adjust to possible new U.S. sanctions to complete the project.
The Kremlin has said that new U.S. sanctions targeting Nord Stream 2 could complicate the pipeline’s completion, but that Moscow and European nations had an interest in its being built.
Gazprom’s western partners in the project, which is estimated to cost 9.5 billion euros ($11.6 billion) are Germany’s Uniper, BASF’s Wintershall Dea, Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell , Austria’s OMV and Engie.