The first string of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been filled with technical gas and is ready to operate, construction operator Nord Stream 2 AG said in a statement.
"As of October 18, the gas-in procedure for the first string of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been completed. As planned and in line with the system design requirements, the string is filled with some 177 million cubic meters of so-called technical gas, reaching a pressure of 103 bar in the pipeline. This pressure is sufficient to start gas transportation in future," the statement said.
"Pre-commissioning steps for the second string are ongoing. Nord Stream 2 will inform about further technical steps in due time," it said.
The Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipeline, with a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year, runs from the Slavyanskaya compressor station in the Kingisepp district of Russia's Leningrad region to the Baltic coast of Germany. The first string was fully laid by the end of June, and the second in September. Gazprom spoke earlier of its intention to start supplying gas via the new trunk pipeline as early as this year. The Russian gas giant could potentially supply 5.6 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe through it by the end of the year, it said.
Germany's Federal Network Agency or Bundesnetzagentur received the documents needed for certifying Nord Stream 2 AG as an independent gas transport operator in early September. It could take up to four months to consider the documents and make a decision. The decision must then be relayed to the European Commission.