The first string of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is filled with technical gas and is ready for operation, the operator Nord Stream 2 AG, a subsidiary of the Gazprom concern, said on Monday, October 18.
“As of October 18, the procedure for filling the first string of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was completed. In accordance with the plan and design requirements, the string was filled with so-called technical gas in the amount of approximately 177 million cubic meters, which provides a pressure level of 103 bar in the pipeline. This pressure is enough to start transporting gas in the future, “the message says.
Commissioning works are continuing on the second line, Nord Stream 2 noted, promising to additionally inform about further technical steps.
To launch the gas pipeline needs certification
On September 10, Gazprom announced the complete completion of the construction of Nord Stream 2. On October 4, the first string of the gas pipeline began to be filled with gas. Nord Stream 2 expects to commission it by the end of 2021. However, to start gas supplies from the Russian Federation, the project needs certification as an independent operator of the transport system.
The German national regulator, the Federal Agency for Networks (Bundesnetzagentur), received an application for certification from the company on 13 September. The term for consideration of the document is four months. Then the draft decision will be submitted to the European Commission for study. Brussels officials will have another two months to work out their own opinion. In addition, the European Commission can take another two months if it needs more information.
After the Federal Network Agency receives the opinion of Brussels, it will have another two months to make a final decision. Thus, the certification process can take eight to ten months.