Denmark Grants NS2 Operating Permit
The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has granted a permit for the operation of the two-string Nord Stream 2 (NS2) gas pipeline in Danish waters, it said on October 1.
The regulator said it had issued the permit to the 100% Gazprom-owned Nord Stream 2 company "on a number of conditions to ensure a safe operation of the pipelines."
"Commissioning can only take place when at least one of the pipelines has been tested, verified and when relevant conditions in the construction permit and the operations permit have been met," the DEA said. The agency issued NS2's construction permit in October last year, after significant delays.
Work on the 55bn m3/year NS2 between Russian and Germany was halted last December when the US applied sanctions to the project. This forced Swiss contractor Allseas to stop laying the pipeline, leaving just 6% of its offshore section incomplete. All the remaining work is in Danish waters.
Russia has said it will finish the pipeline itself, targeting first gas flow in early 2021 – over a year later than originally planned. While Russia has not said which pipelaying vessels will be used, Gazprom is widely expected to use the Russian-flagged Akademik Cherskiy and Fortuna ships.
Akademik Cherskiy moved out into open waters in the Baltic Sea on October 1 after remaining moored at the German port of Mukran for months, ship-tracking data from Marine Traffic and Vesselfinder shows. But it remains near the port, its speed is minimal and its destination is not disclosed. Meanwhile Fortuna moved from the German ports of Rostok to Wismar on September 29-30, according to the data.