Representatives of the Nord Stream 2 operator announced the near completion of pipe laying in the exclusive economic zone of Sweden. The work is supposed to be completed in October. The last frontier on the gas pipeline is Denmark, which did not permit construction in territorial waters, and the United States with new sanctions, RIA Novosti reported.
A week ago, the last batch of pipes for the construction of SP-2 left the Karlshamn Swedish port. According to representatives of the project operator (Nord Stream 2 AG), the laying of the 510-kilometer Swedish section will be completed in October this year: the first of the two pipelines is already ready, and the final installation of the second will begin on September 1.
The total length of the gas pipeline should be about 1200 kilometers, and the total capacity – about 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. In total, over 1,700 kilometers of pipes have been laid in Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Germany at the moment (the operator does not specify, but most likely, the total length of two threads is meant. – Ed.). This means that SP-2 is 70 percent ready.
Despite the fact that all work is completed on time, it is still not clear whether the project will be fully implemented before the end of this year, as previously planned. The fact is that Denmark still stands in the way of the gas pipeline, which has not yet issued a permit to lay pipes along the bottom of its shelf.
According to Reuters, back in April, the pipeline operator complained to the Danish authorities that the country’s energy council was doing everything to delay construction. In particular, in March, Nord Stream 2 AG was asked to submit another application, already the third in a row, with an alternative route of laying SP-2.
The company warned the Danish Energy Agency that the related work had already cost 100 million euros and would require an additional 560 million additional costs in the future (initial total project cost – 9.5 billion). At the same time, the final construction period will shift by eight months – that is, by the second half of 2020. Although the total length of the Danish section is approximately 130 kilometers and, according to the head of Gazprom, Alexei Miller, it can be built in about five weeks.
The operator’s representatives did not confirm the figures provided by Reuters, but said that a delay of several months would really result in a loss of hundreds of millions of euros.
Therefore, the operator “SP-2” withdrew the initial application filed more than two years ago and decided to concentrate on two routes through the exclusive economic zone outside the territorial waters of Denmark (north-west or southeast of the island of Bornholm). This was reported on the company’s website.
Perhaps this decision will also lead to additional costs and the postponement of the commissioning of the gas pipeline for some time. But this does not mean that the costs will fall on Gazprom’s shoulders because financing of the project is equally divided between the Russian gas monopoly and a consortium of European companies (Austrian OMV, French Engie, British-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell and German Uniper and Wintershall).