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    Russian Pipelayer Moves to German Port


Gazprom has been using the port of Mukran to store Nord Stream 2's pipes.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Russian Pipelayer Moves to German Port

The Gazprom-owned Akademik Cherskiy expected to complete Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany arrived at the German port of Mukran on May 11, ship-tracking data shows. Gazprom has been using the port over the years to store Nord Stream 2 pipes.

Work on Nord Stream 2 came to a standstill in late December after US sanctions forced Swiss contractor Allseas to halt pipelaying activities. The Russian government previously said the Akademik Cherskiy would be capable of finishing the pipeline if international contractors were unable to do so. Only 6% of its offshore section is left to complete.

The vessel left the Russian Far East in February and has since journeyed across the Asia-Pacific and around Africa and into European waters. Earlier this month it was idling in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Russia's Kaliningrad exclave.

Nord Stream 2 was originally scheduled for completion before the end of 2019 but the project was delayed, first because of permitting issues in Denmark and then by US sanctions. Russian president Vladimir Putin has said it should start pumping gas in early 2021. At full capacity it will flow up to 55bn m3/yr of gas to Germany, helping Gazprom limit flows via Ukraine.