The pipe-laying barge Fortuna has completed half of the unfinished section of one string of Nord Stream-2 in the Danish economic zone. The vessel’s average speed is on track for the operator to complete work by the end of May. Favorable weather gives hope that the pipeline will be completed in Denmark one month earlier.
By the morning of March 29, the barge Fortuna had completed half of the unfinished section of one string of the Nord Stream in Danish waters – 24.5 kilometers. This is evidenced by the data of navigation portals about the location of the vessel.
During the day “Fortuna” has covered more than 1100 meters. However, due to the weather and the rearrangement of the anchors, the vessel may not always be able to maintain such a pace. Construction resumed on 6 February and the barge stood for more than two weeks only because of the storm. As a result, the average daily speed of the vessel is 480 meters.
The Swedish Institute of Hydrology and Meteorology (SMHI) predicts that by April 4, south-west of Bornholm Island, where the work is underway, the weather will be predominantly favorable with wind speeds of up to 9 meters per second.
Now the barge is accompanied by the supply vessels Veni, Erri and Umka. Baltic Researcher monitors the installation.
The project operator provided the Danish Energy Agency with a work plan, according to which the vessel, taking into account downtime due to weather, will pass an average of 400 meters per day and complete work on the branch in Denmark by the end of May, and in Germany (13.9 km) by the end June.
At the same time, the Danish maritime department indicated in a warning to sailors that Fortuna would work until the end of April. Gazprom also stated that they are counting on these dates. The barge can fit into them in favorable weather.
At the end of March, the pipelayer Akademik Chersky is to join Fortuna, the project operator reported. It will stand on Line A with the longest unfinished section – 85 kilometers in Danish and German waters.
Now the ship continues to be tested at the Curonian Spit near Kaliningrad. The Danish Maritime Office indicated that the pipelayer will operate in the country’s economic zone until the end of September. Perhaps the operator took a margin of time, since the Akademik Chersky is a more powerful vessel and can lay up to two kilometers a day.
As reported by EADaily, in January the United States imposed extended sanctions against the project, but Gazprom even earlier began to use mainly Russian ships on the project. Nevertheless, this did not save two vessels of the German company, which had previously participated in Nord Stream 2, from harassment. The Polish authorities began the procedure for canceling the registration under the flag of the country of the ships Krebs Geo and Krebs Jet, and at the same time revoked the documents, without which the ships cannot leave the ports.
Krebs Geo and Krebs Jet provided personnel transportation to the pipelayers and monitored security zones in the construction area. The last time, for example, Krebs Geo participated in the project was in December, when it accompanied the barge “Fortuna”, when it was completing the construction of a shallow section of the gas pipeline 2.6 kilometers long in the German economic zone.
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“We are not interested in what they (the courts) are doing as long as it does not threaten the economic interests of our country. These two vessels have recently intensified their work on the Nord Stream-2 project. As of Friday, these two ships should not appear in our waters. Otherwise, we reserve the right to detain them for inspection”, – said Deputy Minister of Maritime Economy of Poland Grzegorz Witkowski.