PIPES FOR THE NORD STREAM
The consortium behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline extension project has announced that it has chosen its final suppliers of steel pipes for the project's two planned lines. Each is to be capable of carrying 27.5bn m/yr, under the Baltic Sea to northern Germany.
The suppliers were chosen after a tender award. The tender covers 2,500 km of large-diameter pipes with a total weight of roughly 2.2mn metric tons. In an announcement on March 11, the consortium said that it had chosen three firms for the supply: Germany-based Europipe for 40% of the required steel pipes; Russia's United Metallurgical Company (OMK) for 33%; and Russian firm Chelyabinsk Pipe-Rolling Plant (Chelpipe) for the remaining 27%.
The relevant contracts will be signed in the coming weeks, Nord Stream 2 AG said, subject to final negotiations.
The pipes will be delivered this coming September.
In the statement, Nord Stream 2 AG said the decision on the tender now was a prerequisite for keeping the pipeline construction on schedule with the expected start-up of construction of both pipelines in 2018. Commissioning is expected in late 2019, according to shareholder OMV last month, which suggests commercial flows could start in the spring of 2020 – the year that the Shah Deniz gas is due to reach Europe but in smaller quantities and from the south.
Despite opposition to the pipeline extension project by a number of European Union member states, and attempts to block it by some blocs of the European Union parliament, progress continues. On March 10, Gazprom, which has a 50% stake in Nord Stream 2, said CEO Alexei Miller had met with officials from the other stakeholder companies in Zurich.
Present were Klaus Schaefer, the CEO of German Uniper; Hans-Ulrich Engel, executive board member of German chemicals giant BASF; Rainer Seele, the CEO of Austrian OMV; Pierre Chareyre, an executive vice-president of French Engie; and Maarten Wetselaar, a member of Anglo-Dutch Shell's executive committee. The five companies each hold 10%.
The meeting addressed issues related to the Nord Stream 2 project but Gazprom gave no further details.
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