The Nord Stream 2 project has reached an obstacle in Sweden after its government reportedly disapproved of plans to lease harbours in Slite and in Karlshamn.
The construction of this new twin pipeline system requires logistical support from harbours on the Baltic coast, including the above mentioned, where concrete weight coating and interim pipe storage facilities would be set up.
Gazprom’s Switzerland-based project company Nord Sream 2 AG has acknowledged the potential decisions of Region Gotland and the municipality Karlshamn not to sign an agreement for the utilization of their respective harbours.
According to the company, both ports had until very recently signaled their commercial interest in cooperating on the project.
However, the company said that if both Swedish municipalities take a formal decision preventing the use of the harbours, Nord Stream 2 and its contractor Wasco Coatings, will look for alternative logistics facilities around the Baltic Sea.
“To use the port of Slite for pipe storage is optimal from a logistics point of view. If this port cannot be used, another port will be used for pipe storage. It may be a bit more expensive and the environmental impact will be more significant as it will lead to longer ship transports. It is always outrageous to waste resources. But in a project with a total budget of about 8 billion euros (80 billion Swedish kroner), this additional cost is insignificant,” Lars Grönstedt, senior advisor for Nord Stream 2 AG in Sweden was quoted in Swedish media.
The Nord Stream 2 pipe laying is planned to be carried out by vessels handling the entire welding and pipe laying process. The pipelines would stretch for some 1,200 kilometres across the Baltic Sea from Russia’s Baltic coast to the German coast near Greifswald. Made up of individual pipe joints of 12 metres, each line of Nord Stream 2 will require approximately 100,000 24-tonne concrete weight coated steel pipes laid on the seabed.