Photo: PJSC Gazprom
“As of October 4, the gas-in procedure for the first string of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has started. This string will be gradually filled to build the required inventory and pressure as a prerequisite for the later technical tests,” the operator, Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG, said in a statement.
“Previously, the first string of the pipeline underwent pre-commissioning activities to assure the pipeline integrity. This included the internal inspection by special devices (pipeline inspection gauges – the so-called intelligent pistons), as well as external visual and instrumental surveys of the pipeline.”
The operator of Nord Stream 2 stated that the pipeline had undergone independent certification in accordance with applicable technical and industry standards. Construction of the pipeline is therefore complete and it is ready to transport gas.
Pre-commissioning steps for the pipeline’s second string are proceeding, the operator said.
The Nord Stream 2 undersea pipeline has a capacity of 55 billion cu. m. per year and runs from the Slavyanskaya compressor station in the Kingisepp district of Leningrad region to the German Baltic seacoast.
The laying of the first string was completed at the beginning of June and the second string was completed in September.
Gazprom has announced previously that it intends to start supplying gas through the new pipeline already in 2021. This could mean potentially that 5.6 billion cu.m could be sent to Europe by the end of the year, the Russian company estimated. At the beginning of September, Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), the regulatory office for electricity, gas and other markets, received certification documents from Nord Stream 2 AG as its independent operator. The examination of those documents and adoption of a ruling will take up to four months. The ruling will then be submitted to the European Union’s Executive Commission.