December 27, 2019 / 3:31 PM / 8 months ago

Russia may use vessel docked in Pacific to finish Nord Stream 2 - minister

MOSCOW, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Russia may use a vessel currently docked at a far eastern port to finish the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, Russia's energy minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Friday.

The Swiss-Dutch company Allseas, which was laying the pipeline, suspended work after the United States imposed sanctions on Nord Stream 2. All that remains to be completed is a 160 km (100 mile) stretch near the Danish island of Bornholm.

Novak did not name the vessel. In 2016, Gazprom bought a special pipe-laying vessel called Academic Cherskiy which is now in the Russian Pacific port of Nakhodka.

It would take about 45 days for Cherskiy to reach the Bornholm area via the Suez Canal or about 37 days using Northern Sea Route in the Russian Arctic, though it would need to be accompanied by an icebreaker.

Novak also said Nord Stream 2 was expected to be launched before the end of 2020. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Olesya Astakhova; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by David Clarke)

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