Denmark has issued a permit for the Baltic gas pipeline that is still unfinished. Among the conditions, the regulator pointed out that Nord Stream 2 may be launched after the gas pipeline is certified and insured for operation. These requirements are quite standard, and now they are even more relevant, as the USA wants to impose sanctions against companies that provide such services to the project.
The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has granted permission to operate the unfinished section of Nord Stream 2 in Danish waters. The statement of the regulator says that the DEA has defined the conditions that the operator of the project has not yet fulfilled. “Commissioning may take place if at least one line of the pipeline is tested, certified and all conditions of the construction and operation permits are met,” – said in a statement of the Danish Energy Agency. These requirements have been confirmed by EADaily and DEA spokesman Touré Falbe-Hansen.
The press service of Nord Stream 2 AG reported that in other countries, such as Sweden and Finland, construction permits already include operating permits. In Denmark, the project operator received two separate documents.
“The permit defines a number of conditions that must be met before the pipeline can be launched and during the entire period of its operation,” Nord Stream 2 AG said.
Among the requirements of the permit itself are the operator’s obligation to provide a commissioning schedule, use of the Integrated Pipeline Management System (PISM), and mandatory insurance for the pipeline operation.
“Nord Stream 2 AG will take out insurance to cover any damage caused by activities performed under the permit, even if the damage is accidental,” the document says.
Certification and insurance are quite standard procedures, but now they are more relevant than ever. The U.S. Senate is currently considering two bills to extend sanctions against Nord Stream 2, and in one version they apply to companies that provide certification services and any type of insurance or reinsurance. If the ships can already be insured or provided by a Russian company, international insurance will be required to operate the gas pipeline.
It is planned that one of the bills will be included in the U.S. defense budget, like the first sanctions, and it will be passed in November and December. By that time only one branch of the gas pipeline may be completed via Nord Stream-2. The speed of the Academician Chersky pipelayer can reach two kilometers per day. The total distance of the unfinished section along two lines is about 160 kilometers in Danish and German waters.
Until recently, the Akademik Chersky pipelayer has been upgraded and retrofitted at the German port of Mukran, which serves as the project’s logistics center. And the DEA informed EADaily today that they have not yet received an updated work plan for the gas pipeline construction. “We continue to consider various options for resuming the gas pipeline laying in Denmark and will inform about our plans in a timely manner,” says Nord Stream 2 AG in its response.