“Gazprom plans to launch Nord Stream 2 this year. According to RIA Novosti, this is stated in the presentation by Vladimir Vavilov, deputy head of the company’s technology import substitution department. The representative of “Gazprom” demonstrated the document at the exit interindustry event “DIC – Fuel and Energy Complex 2021”.
Earlier, Gazprom confirmed that the unfinished section of Nord Stream-2 in Danish waters is planned to be completed by the end of April. For this, however, it is necessary that the second pipelayer, Akademik Chersky, will join the laying of the two strings of the pipeline, and Fortuna will work at a faster pace. It was the fifth day the barge had not resumed work on the pipeline because of the storm.
“As you have seen, from his (the operator of Nord Stream 2 AG) message it follows that the construction of the gas pipeline in Danish waters continues, this is the main section, which has not yet been completed. The possible completion date of this section is April 2021,” Alexander Demchenko, head of Gazprom’s investor relations department, said during the company’s conference call. The representative of the company specified that the project faces significant pressure, so Gazprom discloses information about the project in a limited amount.
As EADaily reported on February 8, the Danish Maritime Authority specified in its warning to sailors that restrictions on shipping south and southeast of the island of Bornholm due to the laying of two strings of Nord Stream-2 will be in force until the end of April. The regulator left in force the information that the Fortuna barge, escorted by the Baltic Explorer and Murman vessels, was carrying out the work.
Even earlier, the Danish Energy Agency shared with RIA Novosti the schedule for the Baltic pipeline installation in Danish waters from the project operator. And there it is said that by the end of May Fortuna will lay one string of the pipeline, and the average speed of laying, taking into account the downtime due to bad weather, will be 400 meters per day.
At this rate, the pipe-laying barge won’t be able to complete one string of Nord Stream 2 in Danish waters by the end of April. For this, it is necessary to increase the speed to 600 meters per day.
On February 6, the Fortuna resumed completion of the pipeline and passed 550 meters in a day. However, since February 7, it has been stuck at one point for a third day now, as a storm is raging in the Baltic Sea.
The barge is working on the shortest unfinished section. It has 47 kilometers to pave in Danish waters and another 13.9 kilometers in German waters. On the other branch, more than 80 kilometers are to be built.
If Fortuna completes one line in Danish waters, another pipe-laying vessel, the Akademik Chersky, will be needed to complete the second. It is still in the German port of Wismar.
The construction speed with this pipelayer is faster, but apparently, the ship has not yet been certified after the retrofitting work. It arrived in May from Nakhodka, and until the end of September new equipment, including an anchor positioning system, was being installed in the port of Mukran. The pipelayer underwent sea trials in October, after which it should have been certified. But in the middle of October, the US State Department imposed restrictions on companies that retrofit and certify vessels for Nord Stream 2, and the Norwegian certifier DNV immediately informed that they were leaving the project.
It is not known what the situation is now. The project operator and Gazprom do not comment on the progress of work and the situation in the pipeline. What is known is that they have involved Russian ship owners in the project in order to minimize the risk of sanctions as much as possible.