The German Federal Office of Shipping and Hydrography (BSH) has authorized the operator of Nord Stream 2 AG to complete Nord Stream 2 in German waters from January to May. There are just over 30 kilometers left to lay on two strings – 16.5 and 13.9 kilometers. The regulator, however, ordered the operator to meet the deadline of 30 days with a two-week break between the completion of each string. Thus, the speed of pipe laying has to exceed 1 kilometer a day. Russian ships have not yet reached it.
“In July 2020, Nord Stream 2 AG submitted an application for amendments to the pipeline permit from 2018. The application concerns approval of a new schedule for laying pipelines by an anchored positioning vessel in the remaining section in the German economic zone (Baltic Sea),” the German regulator said in a statement.
Recall that in December, the pipe-laying barge “Fortuna” laid a section of 2.6 kilometers of one branch of the “Nord Stream – 2” in the shallow water in the German economic zone of the Baltic Sea. The length of the German sections to be completed is therefore different for the two pipeline strings.
The largest unfinished section of Nord Stream 2 is in Danish waters, about 50 and 70 kilometers apart. The Danish Maritime Authority has allowed the work to resume as of today, January 15.
The Fortuna pipe-laying barge left the German port of Wismar yesterday, January 14, and is now near Rostock. The German Handelsblatt reported, citing a Nord Stream 2 AG spokesman, that work will not necessarily resume exactly today: “First they will examine the technical equipment.”
Roughly the same thing happened last time Fortuna went ahead with the completion of the section in German waters last month.