Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is 70 percent complete

Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is 70 percent complete
More than 800km of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has already been laid under the Baltic Sea, the project’s operator announced. The gas pipeline is scheduled to be fully finished by the end of this year.

Some 400km of pipes along the 1,200km route were laid along the seabed since the beginning of the year. In January, the Nord Stream 2 operator reported that 400km of the line had been completed by the end of 2018.

“We have a complex, non-linear schedule for laying the twin Nord Stream 2 pipelines, taking into account the environmental requirements and using a large number of vessels for the implementation of various activities,” Nord Stream 2’s Chief Project Officer Henning Kothe said on Friday. He added that the works are progressing according to the schedule, which will the gas pipeline completed by the end of 2019 as the company earlier promised.

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Over 1,000 people are currently working on some 20 vessels for the project in the Baltic Sea. However, the heavy lift and pipelay vessel ‘Pioneering Spirit,’ the world’s largest of its kind, will temporarily be used in another project in the North Sea. The construction vessel is set to continue laying the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in around one month.

The $11 billion Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is set to run from Russia to Germany to deliver Russian natural gas to European consumers. It is expected to double the existing pipeline’s capacity of 110 billion cubic meters.

Earlier this week, a poll conducted on the YouGov platform and published by German media showed that a majority of Germans support the project. Some 56 percent of 2,058 participants voted in favor of the pipeline, while only 16 percent said they were against the construction. The remainder of respondents did not express an opinion on the matter. 

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The Nord Stream 2 has long attracted opposition from some European countries, especially Ukraine, which fears that Russia wants to bypass the country and deprive it of its gas transition revenues. At the same time, the US voiced criticism of the gas pipeline, saying that it will make Europe dependent from Moscow, while trying to sell more of its own liquefied natural gas (LNG) to its overseas partners. The claims have been repeatedly rebuffed by both Russia and Germany.

On Friday, one of Russia’s partners on the Nord Stream 2 construction, Austria’s OMV energy group, said that buying expensive American gas would hurt European companies. 

“If we want to keep Europe competitive, importing overpriced American liquefied natural gas is not an option as it will not allow our industrial companies withstand competition with the US,” CEO of the company, Rayner Zele, told Neue Zurcher Zeitung outlet.

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