According to the regulator – the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency – the request to change the permit is the result of unforeseeable delays outside of the German EEZ.
The German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency said it is extending to May the permit for pipelay works for constructing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that is expected to carry up to 55 bln cubic metres of gas per year from Russia to Germany.
In a press release, the agency explained that Nord Stream 2 previously requested to change its pipelaying permit. The permit, issued in 2018, covers work with an anchor-positioned ship on the remaining stretch in the German Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Baltic Sea, south of Bornholm through Pomeranian Bay to Lubmin.
Nord Stream 2 comprises two gas pipelines with a total capacity of 55 bln cubic metres of gas per year from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. The US has vocally opposed the project while pushing its
own liquefied natural gas to the EU, Ukraine, and a number of European countries at the same time. In December 2019, Nord Stream 2 was hit by sanctions, which forced offshore pipelaying and subsea construction company Swiss Allseas to discontinue work on the project.
On 1 January, the US Senate adopted a new defence budget, which plans to hit the Russian pipeline with new sanctions. Shortly after, Norwegian company DNV GL announced that it was terminating its inspection of the gas pipeline and would not be able to certify it.
Nevertheless, the Russian authorities are confident that the project will be completed, noting its support from the German authorities and Gazprom’s European partners.