LONDON (ICIS)--Construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline in Danish waters has been extended until the end of September, a notice from the Danish Maritime Authority indicated on 4 March.
A second Russian pipe-laying vessel has started to work on the project, which may accelerate the pace of construction.
Work on the link restarted in the Danish exclusive economic zone in late January using a Russian pipe-layer called the Fortuna, despite the vessel falling under US sanctions .
The new US administration held off on applying new sanctions against the project through a report in February.
NEW VESSEL JOINS PROJECT
On 4 March another Russian pipe-layer, the Akademik Chersky, departed from the German port of Wismar and moved towards Kaliningrad in Russia to undergo sea trials, backers of the pipeline told ICIS a day later.
Upon completion of these trials the vessel is expected to start work in the Danish exclusive economic zone, the spokesperson added.
Before the Fortuna resumed activity in late January there was approximately 160km of pipes left to complete in Danish and German waters.
Around 138km are now left, 110km of which is in Denmark and 28km in Germany, the project developer said on 5 March.
The presence of Russian icebreaker Vladislav Strizhov near the Fortuna this week indicated construction was likely to be ongoing despite very low temperatures.
In optimal weather conditions the Fortuna can lay around 1.5km of offshore pipeline a day, ICIS understands, with the Akademik Chersky thought to have a similar speed.
This means the vessels could potential finish the project in around 46 days, depending on weather conditions.