Nord Stream 2 Pipelay Starts Offshore Denmark
(Bloomberg) -- Russian pipelaying vessel Fortuna has started working at the Nord Stream 2 construction site in Danish waters, defying new U.S. sanctions against the controversial gas-pipeline project.
The work being done in the Danish exclusive economic zone is “performed in line with relevant permits” and precede the actual construction of the gas link, a spokeswoman for Nord Stream 2 AG said in an email. The Danish authorities allowed “preparatory works and tests before pipelay works start,” she said.
The statement comes just days after the U.S. State Department placed sanctions on the Fortuna and its assumed owner, the Russia-based KVT-Rus, aiming to halt construction of the pipeline from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The U.S. maintains that the gas link gives Moscow too much leverage over Europe’s gas supplies and threatens the energy security of the region.
Construction of the 1,230-kilometer (764-mile) gas pipeline was frozen after U.S. sanctions in December 2019, when all but 160 kilometers of the link had been put in place. Last December, construction resumed in Germany’s exclusive economic zone, where the Fortuna built 2.6 kilometers of the pipeline.
Amid risks of tighter U.S. restrictions, Zurich Insurance Group AG terminated all of its coverages impacted by the sanctions and engineering firm Bilfinger SE is said to have cut ties with the project. The move follows those of certification company Norway’s Det Norske Veritas Holding AS and the Danish engineering firm Ramboll.
Still, Russian gas giant Gazprom PJSC, which fully owns the project, sees construction of the gas link as one of its investment priorities for this year, according to the company’s bond prospectus published last week. Construction of one of the twin lines of Nord Stream 2 is set to be largely completed by the end of June, according to the Nord Stream 2 schedule.
--With assistance from Olga Tanas.
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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