Nord Stream 2 pipe laying set to begin in German waters
Pipeline company Nord Stream 2 AG confirmed to NGW on July 19 that a pipelaying vessel was preparing to operate in German waters, putting the gas pipeline network one step closer to completion.
The German Waterway and Shipping authority issued a notice to mariners on July 18 that pipelaying vessel Akademic Cherskiy was preparing work in the German territorial waters.
“The pipelay vessel Akademik Cherskiy will lay a 2.6-km section of the second line of the pipeline in the German Exclusive Economic Zone,” pipeline operator Nord Stream 2 said in response to emailed questions.
Vessels are called on to maintain a distance of 2.3 nautical km away from the vessel, though support vehicles are exempt from the restriction. Anchoring and fishing near Akademik Cherskiy are prohibited.
Germany is at the receiving end of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will deliver up to 55bn m3/year of Russian natural gas to Europe through the Baltic Sea at full capacity.
The announcement followed a meeting last week between US president Joe Biden and German chancellor Angela Merkel. The US is opposed to the network, claiming it undermines European energy security. Merkel, however, said her focus is on Ukraine, which could see a slump in gas transit revenues because of Nord Stream 2.
“We’ve come to different assessments as to what this project entails,” she said in a joint press briefing with Biden. “But let me say very clearly: Our idea is and remains that Ukraine remains a transit country for natural gas.”
Some test operations in preparation of gas deliveries to Germany were completed in June. The first of the two Nord Stream 2 strings – each can carry 27.5bn m³/yr – is ready for filling with gas. The full network could be completed by August.