Construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline delayed by half a year

The completion of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline continues to be postponed.

According to Interfax, the operator of the project, Gazprom's Swiss-registered subsidiary Nord Stream 2 AG, has postponed the completion date in Danish territorial waters by another five months. About 160 km of pipe remain to be laid there.

In a new Notice to Mariners published by the Danish Maritime Authority, the company says it plans to continue work until September 2021. Two months ago, in a similar document, the deadline was April.

Gazprom, which has faced mass exodus of European partners, from engineering firms to insurers, urged "not to focus on the specific timing for the completion of the construction and launch of the project."

"The launch of the project itself is important for us, and we will really do it. These terms depend on many factors, a lot of factors, including weather conditions, etc. so there are no exact dates," said Deputy Chairman of Gazprom’s Management Committee Famil Sadygov.

Meanwhile, a group of 40 U.S. senators called on U.S. President Joe Biden to "quickly and fully" impose new sanctions on companies involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The Senators' March 3 letter, quoted by Bloomberg, notes that "construction of the project is ongoing," although there is publicly available information about the courts and companies involved in activities subject to sanctions."

The senators also criticized the State Department’s report, which contained a list of entities involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2, calling it "completely inadequate."

In their view, the report did not specify all the vessels involved in the pipeline, as well as the companies providing insurance and certification services. The State Department's February 19 report mentioned Fortuna pipe-laying vessel and its owner, KVT-Rus, against whom sanctions were already in place at the time. The senators, including Texas Republican Ted Cruz, called on Biden to immediately establish all parties involved in the project and introduce additional measures against them.

While the German government is discussing with the Biden administration a plan to rescue the gas pipeline, offering options from the construction of terminals for American LNG to investments in Ukraine's infrastructure, European companies continue to withdraw from the Gazprom project.

Last week, the insurance group Munich Re, Germany’s largest reinsurance provider and the second largest in terms of primary insurance deals, announced its withdrawal from the project.

Previously, Swiss-based Zurich Insurance Group refused to insure the project. On January 3, the Norwegian certification and classification company Det Norske Veritas (DNV GL) refused to participate in Nord Stream 2.

Ten days later, the Danish engineering corporation Ramboll withdrew from the project.

  Nord Stream, Gazrom, Russia, Germany