Nord Stream pipeline directly links Russia and Germany, it plays an important role in ensuring reliable supplies of Russian natural gas and serves to meet additional demand in Europe. This route makes it possible to bypass the not always predictable transit countries.
This pipeline consists of two lines with a throughput capacity of 27.5 billion cubic meters/year each. Its route lies under the Baltic Sea from Portovaya Bay near the city of Vyborg to the German coast near Greifswald, stretching 1224 km.
Nord Stream AG (Switzerland) gas transmission company was established for planning, construction, ownership, financing, and the operation of the gas pipeline.
Equity shares’ breakdown of the Nord Stream AG company is as follows: Gazprom (51%), E.ON (15.5%), Wintershall (15.5%), Gasunie (9%) and ENGIE (9%).
Upon commissioning of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, Gazprom has been looking into the possibility of boosting the capacity of this facility. As a result, on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2015 the heads of Gazprom, E.ON, Royal Dutch Shell and OMV signed Memorandums of Intent stipulating the cooperation among the companies for constructing of two additional strings of the Nord Stream pipeline.
Similar to the first two strings, the new ones will be laid from the Russian coast via the Baltic Sea to Greifswald. The capacity of the new gas pipeline will reach 55 billion cubic meters a year. In September 2015, the Shareholders Agreement was signed and the new project was named Nord Stream 2.
In September 2006, the final Shareholder’s Agreement was signed, as well as the Agreement on the basic conditions of gas transportation.
In spring 2010, the Nord Stream consortium attracted external funding from a syndicate of 26 banks amounting to 3.9 billion euros for the first phase of the project. Of this amount, guarantees of export credit agencies SACE and Hermes were received for the sum of 3.1 billion euros.
In April 2010, construction of the first line of the Nord Stream project in the Baltic Sea was launched.
In August 2011, the pipe-laying operation of the second line of Nord Stream in the Gulf of Finland was completed.
On August 22, 2011, welding of the “golden seam” — the last one — of the first line of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Russian sector has taken place.
On August 25, 2011, the last joint that connects the first line of Nord Stream gas pipeline to the European OPAL gas pipeline has been welded in Lubmin (German land of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern).
On November 8, 2011, the first line of the Nord Stream gas pipeline became operational. After four years of planning and 18 months of intensive construction, Russian gas began to flow into gastransportation system of Europe.
In April 2012, the pipe-laying operation of the second line of Nord Stream on the whole route from Portovaya Bay to Greifswald was completed.
On October 8, 2012, the second line of the Nord Stream gas pipeline was put into operation, which increased the capacity to 55 billion cubic meters of gas. The project’s shareholders also examined the preliminary results of the feasibility studies for the construction of the third and fourth strings and came to the conclusion that it was economically expedient and technically feasible.
On June 18, 2015, Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Klaus Schaefer, Member of the Management Board of E.ON, Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell and Manfred Leitner, Member of the Executive Board of OMV signed Memorandums, which reflect the parties’ intent to implement a project for the construction of two additional gas pipeline strings from the Russian coast to the German coast via the Baltic Sea.
On September 4, 2015, the Shareholders Agreement was signed among Gazprom, BASF, E.ON, ENGIE, OMV and Shell within the Nord Stream 2 project.
Gazprom press releases:
Another Milestone in Energy Supply Security – 17.10.2014
Final Load Tests of Nord Stream started – 08.11.2013
WINGAS launches a storage facility in Jemgum – 16.09.2013
Gazprom achieved record daily supply volumes – 14.12.2012