Fortuna vessel - Nord Stream 2

Nord Stream 2 to start laying pipes in Danish waters in January

Russia’s Nord Stream 2 project is expected to start laying pipes for the gas pipeline in waters offshore Denmark in January 2021 after construction was suspended in December 2019 due to a threat of sanctions by the United States.

Fortuna vessel; Source: Verdijk Maritiem

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is led by Russian giant Gazprom with half of the funding coming from five European partners -Germany’s Uniper, BASF’s Wintershall, Anglo-Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV, and Engie.

The project work was halted last December when pipe-laying company Allseas suspended operations after U.S. sanctions targeted companies providing vessels to lay the pipes.

Washington believes that the pipeline compromises European energy security and its construction has become a major bone of contention between Russia and the U.S.

The continuation of activities comes after the U.S. President Donald Trump, whose administration opposed the pipeline, lost to Joe Biden, whose inauguration is set for 20 January 2021.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Denmark’s regulator, Danish Maritime Authority, had issued a notification of pipe-laying works for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea from 15 January.

According to Reuters, the pipe-laying work will be carried out using the Fortuna vessel, which will be assisted by construction vessels Baltic Explorer and Murman along with other supply vessels.

To remind, the Fortuna arrived at the construction site of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea earlier in December.

It was the second pipelayer to arrive at the construction site this month after the pipe-laying vessel Akademik Cherskiy arrived north of Germany and Poland.

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The Fortuna vessel is currently laying pipes in the shallow waters of the pipeline’s German zone after work resumed this month.

The construction of the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 project is nearly finished. Only a small section in Germany needs to be completed as well as the final stretch of about 120 kilometres in Danish waters.

The project is designed as two parallel 48-inch lines, roughly 1,200 kilometres long, each starting southwest of St. Petersburg and ending at German coast, Greifswald.

It is designed to boost the amount of Russian gas that can be shipped to Europe without having to go through Ukraine.

The gas pipelines will have the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian gas a year to the EU, for at least 50 years.