Construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline completed, Gazprom says
10 September 2021
Russian energy company Gazprom has announced that construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was completed on September 10. The pipeline, which will transport gas from Russia to Germany, has caused controversy with critics saying it will increase Western Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
Last pipe welded in the Baltic Sea - Image: © Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt
The completion of the 1,200-kilometre long Nord Stream 2 pipeline was announced by the head of Gazprom’s management board, Alexei Miller. The $11 billion project, which could double Russia’s gas exports to Europe, has previously drawn criticism from the US and Ukraine. Progress was even stopped in 2019 after sanctions were imposed on German construction companies and vessels involved in the project by the then President Donald Trump. Construction resumed in 2020 with Russia using its own pipeline-laying ships.
Announcing completion of the project in a statement, Nord Stream 2 said that the sections of the pipeline laid from the German shore and Danish waters have been connected in a so-called above water tie-in. The opposing pipe strings were lifted from the seabed by the lay barge Fortuna and the pipe ends were cut and fitted together. The welding to connect the two lines took place on a platform located above the water on the side of the vessel. Then the connected pipeline was lowered to the seabed as one continuous string.
The Nord Stream 2 website said the required pre-commissioning activities will be carried out with the goal to put the pipeline into operation before the end of this year. Russia’s Foreign Ministry and state-owned Gazprom have said that Nord Stream 2 won’t begin pumping commercial gas until a German regulator gives approval. Certification is expected to take up to four months with checks set to be conducted by Germany’s Economics Ministry and Gazprom itself.