Final joint of Nord Stream’s second string welded
The final joint at the second string of the Nord Stream gas pipeline was welded in the Portovaya Bay.
The final joint connected the offshore section of the pipeline's second string to its onshore section as well as to the onshore infrastructure on the Russian coast in the Portovaya Bay near Vyborg.
The second string will be filled with process (buffer) gas in coming days, which is the necessary final stage before its commissioning.
It is projected to start gas supplies to Europe via Nord Stream's second string in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Nord Stream is a fundamentally new route for Russian gas export to Europe. Running across the Baltic Sea waters from the Portovaya Bay (near Vyborg) to the German coast (near Greifswald) the gas pipeline is 1,224 kilometers long.
The Nord Stream project is being implemented by the joint venture Nord Stream AG. The stakes in Nord Stream AG are currently distributed as follows: Gazprom holds 51 per cent, Wintershall Holding and E.ON Ruhrgas – 15.5 per cent each, Gasunie and GDF Suez – 9 per cent each.
Commercial gas supplies via Nord Stream's first string started on November 8, 2011.
On April 18, 2012 the second Nord Stream gas pipeline string was placed ahead of schedule.
The annual throughput of Nord Stream will be 55 billion cubic meters after its two strings reach the design capacity.