Work Progresses on Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
Raw laying of pipe for the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will run natural gas from Russia to Germany, is slated for completion in the middle of this year, and the first line will be ready by November, according to reports. Nord Stream noted near the end of last year that 370 kilometers (roughly 229 miles) of pipeline had already been laid.
Nord Stream 2’s second line is slated for completion in December. Once raw project work is complete, then electrical equipment and security systems are to be installed, noted engineer Klaus Haussmann.
Prep Work Begins
Preparatory work on Nord Stream 2 began off the coast of Germany in May 2018. The work for Russian gas giant Gazprom’s pipeline began in the Bay of Greifswald, located on Germany's Baltic Sea coast.
Nord Stream 2 will allow Moscow to route gas exports around the Ukraine. Since the establishment of Nord Stream 1 in 2011, the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine has declined. Gazprom was willing to maintain transit of gas through the Ukraine, but at lower volumes; the country rejected this offer.
Russia's second natural gas pipeline across the Baltic seabed to Germany is just months away from completion #nordstream2 #Gazprom https://t.co/lCwfbwmxpa— DW Business (@dw_business) January 30, 2019
According to Bloomberg, the U.S. has long opposed the pipeline, given the needs of Ukraine and the energy interdependence of Europe. A U.S. official also pointed out concerns that the pipeline would allow Russia to install monitoring technology in the Baltic Sea. (Though, Bloomberg notes, this is unlikely due to the fact Nord Stream 2 will run parallel to its predecessor; Nord Stream 1 could be used for the same purpose.)
According to DW Business, Nord Stream 2, which is composed of two welded conduits, each with an inside diameter of 1.2 meters (4 feet), will move gas from northwestern Siberia 1,230 kilometers (764 miles) across the Baltic seabed through Swedish, Finnish and Danish waters, to northeastern Germany.
Haussmann has also expressed concern over the impact of the Baltic's winter weather on pipeline construction. Earlier this month, U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell threatened action against German firms involved with the project. Berlin replied that no plans had changed, and the project was still proceeding.
The project is being implemented in conjunction with German energy firms Wintershall and Uniper, French multinational Engie, British-Dutch oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell and Austrian energy company OMV, according to RT Business News.
Construction on the project has so far been approved by Germany, Finland, and Sweden, though Denmark has not yet provided approval. If Danish officials do not budge on the matter, the consortium can avoid the country’s territorial waters.