Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 27 March 2021
Gazprom Chairman Says Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline to Be Finished This Year
The Russians are sure to complete the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on time. As the U.S. administration has not introduced any new sanctions, Russia is going ahead with the construction of its controversial energy link. Construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for carrying Russian natural gas to Europe will be completed this year, Viktor Zubkov, the chairman of Gazprom’s board of directors, said on March 26 while visiting Berlin. Gazprom’s board chairman said that work on Nord Stream 2 was already 92.5 percent complete while intense work was underway to complete the link.
The Russian energy giant confirmed the plan to finish the construction of Nord Stream 2 in 2021. A 183-kilometer stretch needs to be completed to finalize the construction, according to permits from both Denmark and Germany. These also show that construction works should be complete by late September 2021, according to a notice from the Danish Maritime Agency, or DMA. That from Germany is valid until late May 2021 so either Russia must hurry up or it will ask to extend the deadline yet the latter solution is risky amid protests from environment groups. The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has a total length of 2,460 kilometers. When the construction was suspended in December 2019 as the Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas stopped the works due to U.S. sanctions, some 2,300 kilometers of the double pipeline were complete. Last December, construction resumed in Germany’s exclusive economic zone, where the Fortuna, a Russian pipelaying vessel, built a portion of the pipeline. On February 6, 2021, it started laying pipes in Denmark’s exclusive economic zone. Around 180 kilometers are now left, 125 kilometers of which is the first line of Nord Stream and some 58 kilometers is the second one. There is more to complete in Denmark’s exclusive economic zone: 108 kilometers and some 44 kilometers, respectively. But completing pipe-laying activities along the sea does not put an end to the project. Several other steps are also required to launch the pipeline. These include hydraulic, commissioning, and operational tests for units and systems, as well as filling the pipeline with gas and other related tasks. The gas pipeline will also receive a certificate while providing such services to Nord Stream 2 may trigger U.S. sanctions, a move that will hamper the entire procedure.
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