Nord Stream 2 consortium says completion of project can proceed

The Nord Stream 2 (NS2) consortium said on Friday January 15th that preparatory work to complete the subsea gas pipeline to Germany in Danish waters could go ahead. The Gazprom-led consortium pointed to the latest notifications from Nautiskinformation, the Danish Maritime Authority.

The DMA told shippers on January 13th that prohibited areas near Bornholm would be established from January 14th for the pipe-laying vessel Fortuna (IMO 8674156), assisted by construction and supply vessels.

Business daily Handelsblatt had reported earlier that the NS2 group was delaying the completion work and that this was connected to enhanced sanctions pressure from the US, which appeared to want to halt the project.

The Handelsblatt report said that the consortium would probably be able to say at the end of January or in early February when work would resume.

More than 90% of the project has been completed.

On Friday the Fortuna was anchored near the German port of Rostock.

Construction of Nord Stream 2 was initially halted in December 2019, following sanctions threats from the US. Politics mixed with economics, given that the US also wants to sell its own LNG to Europe.

Nord Stream 2 is designed to double capacity of the existing undersea Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany to 110 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year, more than half of Russia’s overall pipeline gas exports to Europe.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday that the German government would consult with the new US administration about the project as soon as it takes office.

German maritime authority BSH said on Friday that it had given Nord Stream 2 permission to lay pipelines in its exclusive economic zone any year from the end of September to the end of May, following an application from the consortium in June 2020.

2010-built, Russia-flagged, 40,978 gt Fortuna is owned and managed by Universal Transport Group LLC of Moscow, Russia.