Sunday, February 9, 2020

Nordstream 2: no replacement for pipelaying company Allseas in sight yet

The menace with severe sanctions did not fail it's effect with the pipelaying company Allseas that layed the pipes for the Nordstream 2 pipeline.

Allseas immediately terminated the operations after the sanctions were pronounced.
Although the consortium of Nordstream 2 was confident to resume the works so far no replacement has been found to complete the outstanding 150 km, writes german newspaper "Handeslblatt":

"In the first days after the sanctions against Allseas, the supporters of the project were still confident. The trade penalties are an obstacle, yes, maybe a price driver, but could ultimately be avoided. "The project has progressed so far that ways and means will be found to let the sanctions run out of steam," said an industry representative in December.
In the meantime, pipeline supporters have become more reserved. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin, who otherwise likes to show off his energy, is cautious. When he went to the press with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Moscow in the second week of January, he did not want to commit to an appointment. "I hope that the work will be completed by the end of the current year or in the first quarter of next year and that the gas pipeline will be put into operation," said Putin.
The uncompromising harshness with which the Americans go to work has surprised everyone: the managers of Nord Stream 2 AG as well as the governments in Berlin and Moscow. Actually, as is common in such cases, the US Congress Sanctions Act provided for a transition period. 
It should be 30 days. That would probably have been enough to complete the pipeline. But Cruz made it clear in his letter that the economic penalties against the laying companies would apply immediately. The Americans did not even act so brutally against Iran.
The targeted sanctioning of Allseas proves to be a smart move. Allseas has special technical skills for which the company is envied all over the world. With its ships, the huge "Pioneering Spirit" and the somewhat smaller "Solitaire", it is able to lay pipeline pipes at great depths and in difficult weather conditions. Replacing these skills is not easy.
The Russians still want to try and convert their own ships. The most likely candidate to move the last few kilometers is the “Akademik Cherskiy”, a Russian layaway ship completed in 2015 that meets the requirements required in Danish waters. According to media reports, the "Akademik Cherskiy" was most recently in the Far East of Russia near Vladivostok.
According to experts, the trip to the Baltic Sea alone would take up to two months. According to experts, the Russian laying ship "Fortuna", which can be seen in the port of Mukran on R├╝gen these days, is only suitable for laying pipes in shallow water or near the coast - and is therefore a non-void candidate."

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