The construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, which was terminated in December 2019 due to the threat of US sanctions, may resume in the near future. Bloomberg writes about it based on the analysis of satellite frames of the construction area. According to Bloomberg, the Russian pipe-laying vessel Akademik Chersky arrived at the port of Mukran in northern Germany.
It was delivered to Germany from the Far East for almost three months. It is in the port of Mukran that the pipes are now located, which must be concluded to complete the project. Satellite footage taken on May 10 shows that the onshore sections of the pipeline have been moved to a platform with a powerful construction crane.
There are also auxiliary vessels nearby, including the Russian barge Fortuna, which are supposed to help Akademik Chersky in pipe-laying. At Nord Stream 2 AG, the Nord Stream 2 operator has neither confirmed nor denied that the completion of the pipeline will begin in the near future. According to Bloomberg estimates, about 6 percent of the pipeline remains to be completed, which is just over 100 kilometers.
“Academician Chersky” can cope with this task by the end of 2020. Previously, the pipeline was laid by more powerful pipe-laying vessels owned by the Swiss company Allseas. However, the work came to a halt after the US Congress in late December last year passed a bill providing for sanctions against shipowner companies involved in laying pipes for Nord Stream 2.
The US opposes the project, arguing that it makes Europe overly dependent on Russian gas. The same position is shared by Ukraine and a number of EU countries. Germany, Austria and several other countries, whose companies are involved in the construction, insist that this is an exclusively business project.
After the imposition of sanctions, Russian representatives stated that Nord Stream 2 would still be completed by the end of 2020 or by the beginning of 2021. Akademik Chersky belongs to a subsidiary of Gazprom.