The start of Nord Stream 2 operation will be delayed at least to the second half of 2020. It is official, just take a look at the documents – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.
On May 15th, the Danish Energy Agency published environmental records for the third variant of Nord Stream 2 route. The pipeline from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea is already being built, but not all permissions have been received yet. Denmark has not yet decided whether and what application to consent to. It already received two, now it demands the third one. It was possible thanks to ending the territorial dispute between Poland and Denmark. Removing the grey zone near Bornholm allowed to reach for the third route and the Danes asked for investigation of it, causing considerations about the political context of their decision. The records are available at the Nord Stream 2 AG website, in the part names „non-technical summary” also in Polish, as it is required to proceed with trans-border consultations for the proposed route, including with Poles, who will be able to express their opinion.
In the summary, one can find a project schedule, where it is directly stated that Nord Stream 2 will be put into operation in the second half of 2020. What is interesting, the construction process and putting into operation is described as one stage of works and spreads from 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. However, Nord Stream 2 was supposed to be finished by the end of this year. Combining the construction and putting into operation makes it possible to cleverly avoid pointing the precise date of finishing the construction. It is threatened by the necessity of waiting for Denmark’s decision. Start of deliveries may be delayed in addition, if Nord Stream 2 will have to be adapted to regulations of the amended EU gas directive.
This is the first case that Nord Stream 2 delay has officially been described in the documents. So far, the Russian authorities and the company responsible for this project (fully owned by Gazprom) convinced that the project would not be delayed. Several months later the delay seemed a minor threat for the economic future of the project, but put in a context, it gains a specific meaning. If Nord Stream 2 cannot omit Ukraine by the end of 2019, it will be necessary to sign a new transition contract with the Ukrainians, what we wrote about in BiznesAlert.pl. The Russians will probably still need the Yamal Pipeline, so a new transition contract with the Poles will be needed as well. If Nord Stream 2 was build without obstacles and started deliveries on New Year 2020, the Russians could work not counting on transit states.