FRANKFURT, May 15 (Reuters) – A consortium of western companies and Russia’s Gazprom that is due to build the controversial subsea Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany said on Tuesday it was starting preparatory work in the Greifswald bay off Germany’s Baltic coast.
“Five dredgers are now working on the trench for the two pipeline strings,” the consortium, based in Switzerland’s Zug, said in a press release. “Preparatory works are in accordance with the Stralsund mining authority’s planning approval.”
The regulatory authority granted the consortium a permit in January to build the pipeline in German territorial waters.
Gazprom’s Western partners are energy companies Uniper, Wintershall, Engie, Austria’s OMV, and Anglo-Dutch group Shell.
The Nord Stream 2 project has said it will tap banks for financing in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early next year.