MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. The Akademik Chersky pipe-laying vessel, which can potentially complete the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project according to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, continues to sail west. The vessel left the port of Nakhodka in the Russian Far East and is currently sailing around Africa, heading to the Atlantic. The current direction of travel is Pointe-Noire (Congo), myshiptracking portal data shows.
In February, the vessel left Nakhodka and headed to Signapore where it was supposed to arrive on February 22. Later, the course was corrected to Sri Lanka. Later, the crew set the direction for Suez, later again correcting it to Maputu, Mozambique. The vessel then sailed to Cape Town, it is expected to arrive in Congo on April 5.
Russian energy giant Gazprom’s subsidiary Gazprom Fleet has been operating the ship since 2016.
Switzerland-based Allseas, the pipelaying company for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, reported suspension of pipelay activities in late December 2019 and took its pipelaying vessels away.
The Nord Stream 2 project involves construction of two lines with a total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters of gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. Gazprom’s European partners in the project are German Uniper and Wintershall, Austrian OMV, French Engie and Anglo-Dutch Shell. The pipeline bypasses transit states - Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and other East European and Baltic countries - through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. The project is 93% completed to date.