MOSCOW (Reuters) - Pipe-laying vessel Akademik Cherskiy, expected to be used to finish the Moscow-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, has left the German project hub of Mukran and is heading to the Russian port of Kaliningrad, Refinitiv Eikon data showed on Friday.
The data showed that the vessel, which has been stationed at Mukran for the past month, is due to arrive at Kaliningrad on Nov. 28.
The $11 billion Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which Moscow wants to build on the bed of the Baltic Sea to designed to boost the amount of Russian gas that can be shipped to Europe without having to go through Ukraine, has become a focal point of Russian tensions with the West.
Construction of the 1,230 km pipeline is nearly finished but a final stretch of about 120 km in Danish waters still needs to be laid.
Work was halted last December when pipe-laying company Swiss-Dutch Allseas suspended operations after U.S. sanctions targeted companies providing vessels to lay the pipes.
Nord Stream 2 is led by Russian gas giant Gazprom, with half of the funding provided by Germany’s Uniper and BASF’s Wintershall, Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell, Austria’s OMV and Engie.
Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by David Goodman
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