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    Russian NS2 Starts Laying Finnish Section


Nord Stream 2 pipelaying has begun on the floor of the Finnish sector of the Baltic.

by: William Powell

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Russian NS2 Starts Laying Finnish Section

The Russian-owned Nord Stream 2 pipeline project began laying the pipeline on the floor of the Finnish sector of the Baltic Sea September 5.

The 55bn m³/yr pipeline is owned by Gazprom but is being financed by five European energy companies, each to the tune of 10%: Engie, Anglo-Dutch Shell, Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, and Austria's OMV. So far each has contributed about €500mn ($580mn), with the same to come again.

The pipeline vessel Solitaire is 300 metres long and 41 metres wide and will lay pipes around the clock seven days a week. The vessel has accommodation on board for 420 persons. Pipe supply vessels will deliver the 12-metre, 24-metric ton sections of pipe to the pipelay vessel from the project’s logistics hubs, such as Kotka or Hanko, to maintain the necessary pipe stock, said the project company.

The pipes are welded together on board the vessel, then welds are tested and finally the pipeline is lowered down to the seabed. A survey vessel will perform surveys prior to and after pipelay to verify that the pipeline is in the right place.

All safety operations within the Finnish exclusive economic zone have been agreed in co-operation with the Finnish Transport Agency and Border Guard, the company said. It is still waiting for approval from Denmark to use its territorial waters, even though Nord Stream 1 crosses them. Construction contracts for the onshore pipeline, Eugal, in Germany have been awarded.

Banner photo and below: Offshore pipelay vessel Solitaire in the Baltic Sea during August 2018, with offshore construction vessel Fortitude (on the right) assisting, and a pipe supply vessel (distant left). Credit: NS2