Germany allows Nord Stream 2 to be completed at a decent speed

Germany’s Federal Office for Shipping and Hydrography (BSH) has given the operator of Nord Stream 2 AG permission to complete Nord Stream 2 in German waters from January to May

There are just over 30 kilometres left to lay on two strings – 16.5 and 13.9 kilometres. The regulator, however, ordered the operator to meet a deadline of 30 days with a break of two weeks between the completion of each line. Thus the speed of pipe-laying must exceed 1 kilometre a day. Russian vessels have not yet reached it.

“In July 2020, Nord Stream 2 AG submitted an application for an amendment to the pipeline permit from 2018. The application concerns approval of a new schedule for laying the pipelines by an anchored positioning vessel in the remaining section in the German economic zone (Baltic Sea)”, – the German regulator said in a statement.

BSH clarified that no significant impact of the works on the neighbouring bird sanctuary is foreseen. In addition, in order to protect seabirds, the construction work was limited in time: a maximum of 30 days between January and May and a break of at least 14 days between construction phases.

Recall that in December the pipe-laying barge Fortuna laid a section of 2.6 kilometres along one branch of Nord Stream 2 in shallow water in the German economic zone of the Baltic Sea. The German sections to be completed therefore have different lengths for the two pipeline strings.

The largest unfinished section of Nord Stream 2 is in Danish waters, around 50 and 70 kilometres long, respectively. The Danish Maritime Authority has given the go-ahead to resume work as of today, 15 January.

The pipe-laying barge Fortuna left the German port of Wismar yesterday, 14 January, and is now off Rostock. The German Handelsblatt reported, citing a Nord Stream 2 AG spokesman, that work would not necessarily resume exactly today: “The technical equipment will be examined first.”

Roughly the same thing happened the last time Fortuna went ahead with the completion of the section in German waters last month.

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