Gazprom could start laying Nord Stream 2 pipe without Denmark's permit
Chief Financial Officer of Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, Paul Corcoran said earlier he does not expect the construction bypassing Denmark to significantly affect the timing and cost of the project, if the country rejects permission for construction of the pipeline's initial route.
"We expect to start in summer. We have started preparation works - seabed preparation works, landfall construction is underway and vessels are mobilized, so they can start laying pipes in the next weeks," he said, according to TASS.
"We have to reroute the pipeline [if the Danish government rejects permission for gas pipeline construction in its territorial waters]," CFO said, adding that "the most likely reroute is in international waters to the north of Denmark."
"Probably [there will be] no delay [in construction completion at all. It [Denmark’s section] is 10% of the route. We can start building on time and we can finish this 10% after we get a permission," he told journalists on Thursday.
"We can still finish the project on time. Because of the five vessels that we have we have flexibility when and where we build. We can reorganize our construction schedule to allow for the Danish permit to come in a certain point in a future and finish that section. It will take only a short time to build the Danish section. The vessels lay 3-3.5 kilometers per day. So, it is not a major delay and not major costs for the project," CFO explained.
Corcoran also said that the shares of the Nord Stream 2 operator had not yet been arrested on the demand of Ukraine's Naftogaz in the framework of fulfillment of the Stockholm Arbitration award, while the litigation was still underway.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the Nord Stream 2 project is said to be laid near the already operating Nord Stream 1. The two new pipes will provide gas transit from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea totaling 55 billion cubic meters a year.
The construction completion of a 1,220-km long pipeline is scheduled for late 2019.
Ukraine has been fiercely opposing the project, emphasizing that it does not contribute to the diversification of gas supplies to the EU.
In late March – early April 2018, Nord Stream 2 AG was granted the relevant construction permits from Germany and Finland.
On May 17, Peter Wagner of the Ukraine support group at the European Commission said that the EC was trying to ensure that Ukraine retain its long-term interests in gas transit in case Russia succeeds in building the Nord Stream 2.
Ukraine PM Volodymyr Groysman called Nord Stream 2 a new kind of hybrid weapon, called to put the EU in dependence of Russia, recalling that Ukraine offers the European customers a reliable energy supply route.
Earlier, Danish Prime Minister Lokke Rasmussen said that the country had all legislative instruments available to ban the pipeline's construction, but added that the issue should be resolved at the European level.