Nord Stream 2 pipeline gets Swedish support after all

Following the initial rejection of the logistics support by Sweden to Wassco for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, things have seemingly changed.

To remind, reports in 2016 said that the authorities of the Swedish Region Gotland and the municipality Karlshamn had decided not to sign an agreement for the utilization of their respective harbours – Slite and Karlshamn for the storage of the piping for the project, citing “security situation.”

However, in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Nord Stream 2, a company operating the project said there has been a change of heart.

According to Nord Stream 2 company, the municipality Karlshamn has signed an agreement for the use of its port for pipe storage during the project’s execution phase.

“The port of Karlshamn has since our first contacts signalled its commercial interest in taking part in the project. Nord Stream’s 2 contractor, Wasco Coatings Germany GmbH, will consequently use the harbour for pipe transhipments and storage over a two-year period as of this autumn,” Nord Stream 2 said.

The pipeline involves two parallel 48 inch lines, roughly 1,200 km, each starting from south-west of St Petersburg and ending at German coast, Greifswald.

Nord Stream 2’s natural gas pipelines through the Baltic Sea will have the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian gas a year to the EU, for at least 50 years.

During the first phase, pipes exclusively made in Germany will be shipped to Karlshamn and then stored within the premises of the port. During the second phase, these pipes will be loaded onto pipe-carrier vessels transporting them to the lay barge on the sea.

Wasco is in charge of the entire transhipment process, with no involvement of Nord Stream 2 nor its shareholder Gazprom, Nord Stream 2 said.

Wasco intends to hire locals and mainly work with local suppliers to supply goods and services for these operations. Wasco will in total use four ports for the pipe logistics of the Nord Stream 2 project: Mukran in Germany, Kotka and Hanko in Finland, and Karlshamn in Sweden.

“During the first Nord Stream project, the company, Swedish authorities, municipalities, suppliers and local communities cooperated in an open, constructive and fruitful manner over a period of many years. Nord Stream 2 would like to continue the on-going project guided by the same principles,” the company said.

The Nord Stream 2 shareholders are Gazprom, the German companies E.ON SE and BASF SE/Wintershall Holding GmbH, the Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell plc, the Austrian OMV AG and the French ENGIE S.A.

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