In order to complete the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany in the Baltic Sea, only a 160-kilometer section of pipeline needs to be built. Construction was frozen in December 2019 when the United States imposed sanctions on European companies involved in the construction of the pipeline. In July, Washington even extended sanctions, which provoked sharp criticism from Germany and the European Union. German ecologists are currently opposed to the completion of the pipeline.
It has become known that the ship “Fortuna” will no longer be involved in construction work. Will the Nord Stream – 2 project be completed, and if so, when?
Ecology pret “Nord Stream – 2”
German environmentalists from Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) are ready to challenge the German government’s decision to build Nord Stream – 2 in court. Ecologists cite as key arguments the fact that “it has been scientifically proven that large methane leaks are possible in the extraction, transportation and processing of natural gas”. Methane emissions are 86 times more harmful than carbon gas, and the concentration of methane in the natural gas extraction process is much higher than previously thought.
Environmentalists call for a re-examination of the gas pipeline application and state that “in view of the new facts regarding the construction of this pipeline and its impact on the environment, construction should not be allowed at all”.
Marco Julie, a spokesman for the European Research Institute in Brussels, said similar criticism and resistance to the construction of Nord Stream – 2 in Germany would only continue to grow. However, “since Nord Stream – 2 is financed from the budgets of private companies, the main argument for resistance is climate issues.”
On 25 July, the German city of Stralsund, which is responsible for issuing permits for the construction and operation of the pipeline, has already announced that it will not reconsider its previous decision on the construction of the pipeline.
Claudia Kemfert, a professor at the German Institute for Economic Research, believes that
From an energy point of view, the Nord Stream – 2 project is a project that Germany no longer needs at all.
“It is a very expensive project, and it is in stark contrast to Germany‘s climate protection goals, as well as the diversification of energy sources that is taking place elsewhere in Europe,” said Kemfert.
Fortune has turned away from the pipeline
It has also become known that the gas pipeline construction barge “Fortuna”, located in the German city of Rostock, will no longer participate in the construction of the gas pipeline. This was announced by a Russian company leasing the ship – “Mežregiontruboprovodstroi” (MRTS). It was Fortune that was one of the main candidates for the completion of Nord Stream – 2 in Danish waters.
In June, the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) authorized the use not only of vessels with a dynamic positioning system, but also with anchor systems such as Fortuna’s.
Gerhard Mangot, an Austrian political scientist and professor at the University of Innsbruck, called the decision to refuse to use the Fortune to build a further gas pipeline as the result of “someone who does not want the pipeline to be completed”.
It is not known at this time which ship could be involved in the further construction of the pipeline. Experts agree that the only vessel that could complete the construction of Nord Stream – 2 is Academician Cherkski. The publication ICIS predicted that if both Fortuna and Academician Čerskis started work on August 3, the gas pipeline would be completed by the end of September. Without Fortune, it will take much longer.