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Nord Stream 2 AG plans to resume pipe-laying work in December

The construction was suspended at the end of 2019 due to US sanctions

MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. The Nord Stream 2 AG project company operating the construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline plans to resume pipe-laying work this December, the company told TASS.

"Yes, we can confirm that. We are planning to resume pipe-laying work using an anchor-positioned vessel in Germany’s exclusive economic zone this year. We will later name the vessel that is planned to be used," the company said when asked whether Nord Stream 2 AG could confirm the resumption of construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Earlier, the NDR radio station reported citing a representative for Nord Stream 2 AG that the construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline would be continued in early December after a year-long break.

Completion to take few weeks or months

The operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has the potential to complete the project amid sanctions within a few weeks or months, depending on various factors, said Aleksey Grivach, deputy head of the National Energy Security Fund.

"It will not take long. Only 160 km of pipes are left to be laid to complete the two legs. It think this might take between a few weeks and a few months," the expert told TASS on Saturday, adding that the exact timeframe would depend on weather conditions and technology chosen by the company.

He went on to say there were "no doubt that the work would resume."

"Of course, they have all the required technical capacities. And the company has been mobilizing them 24/7 in the past two years or maybe more," Grivach said.

A similar timeframe was voiced by another expert, Fitch's Lead Oil & Gas analyst for EMEA, Senior Director, Dmitry Marinchenko. He told TASS the completion and launch of the project would be theoretically possible before the end of the first quarter of 2021,

"In theory, a few months will be enough to complete the construction and launch the project. In other words, there is the possibility of [completing it] before the end of the first quarter," the expert said.

In his opinion, the determination to complete the project at this particular time could probably be linked to the current transfer of power in the United States. At the same time, "some last-minute logistical or legal difficulties" cannot be ruled out.

"Saying that all sanction risks have been neutralized will be possible only after the project is launched," Marinchenko said.

The Nord Stream 2 project contemplates construction of two gas pipeline strings with the total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters per year from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The gas pipeline is 93% complete to date. The construction was suspended at the end of 2019 when the Swiss pipe-laying company Allseas stopped work due to US sanctions and withdrew its vessels.