The gas-in procedure for the first string of the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been completed, the operator of the project said.
In a statement released on Monday, the Swiss-based operator of the Russia-led project said, “The string is filled with some 177 million m3 of so-called technical gas, reaching a pressure of 103 bar in the pipeline,” adding that “this pressure is sufficient to start gas transportation in future.”
The pipeline, funded by Russian energy giant Gazprom and its European partners, is expected to gain certification from a German regulator to start sales of natural gas to Europe.
“Pre-commissioning steps for the second string are ongoing. Nord Stream 2 will inform about further technical steps in due time,” the statement added.
Nord Stream 2 is an international project for the construction of a gas pipeline that is set to bring Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea bypassing transit states such as Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European states.
The new 745-mile-long pipeline, which is set to double Moscow's annual gas export capacity in the Baltic to 110 billion cubic meters, traverses the economic zones and territorial waters of five countries, namely Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.
Russia says the project could provide relief to the European gas market, which has been grappling with tight supplies and soaring prices.
However, the United States is strongly against the project, claiming that the pipeline will increase Europe's reliance on Russian energy.
Earlier in May, the US administration imposed sanctions against 13 ships and three Russian organizations involved in the project. Unlike the US, Germany considers Nord Stream 2 as an economic project and supports it.