Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 offshore pipelay work started in the Gulf of Finland for the pipeline which will provide Russian natural gas to Europe through the Baltic Sea.
Nord Stream 2 will largely follow the route and technical concept of Nord Stream pipeline. The new gas pipeline will have the capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, which will be sufficient to provide 26 million households with heat and electricity every year, Gazprom said in a statement.
Natural gas supplies will help lower CO2 emissions across the European Union, as well as create a more balanced energy mix with gas substituting for coal in power generation and providing back-up for intermittent renewables such as wind and solar power.
Some European countries have opposed the pipeline plans because it would make the region more dependant on Russian energy supplies.
The vessel, Solitaire, started the pipelay on Sept. 5, after being equipped and tested to meet the project's strict requirements. Solitaire is a 300-meter-long and 41-meter-wide vessel that will lay pipes around the clock seven days a week. The vessel has accommodation on board for 420 persons. Pipe supply vessels (PSVs) will deliver the 12-meter, 24-ton pipes used to build Nord Stream 2 to the pipelay vessel from the project's nearest logistics hubs, such as Kotka or Hanko.
They vessel will deliver the only the pipeline that touches the seabed, with an expected completion by the end of next year.