Zurich Insurance to drop out of Nord Stream 2 project

Source : 112 Ukraine

Such decision was made over the threat of further US sanctions on the project
08:32, 17 January 2021

Nord Stream 2

Zurich Insurance Group AG has decided to stop providing insurance services linked to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. This was reported by Bloomberg with the reference to people close to the matter.

Such a decision was made over the threat of further US sanctions on the project. The company could potentially be a target of new sanctions that’ll penalize companies that provide technical certification and insurance to the project.

The firm has a “comprehensive compliance framework in place and is committed to fully comply with any applicable sanctions regulations.”

Related: Germany approves creation of special foundation to complete Nord Stream 2 bypassing U.S. sanctions

The decision comes as Nord Stream 2 steps up work on the 1,230-kilometer (764-mile) pipeline.

The project’s operator is set to resume construction in Danish waters this month. Vessels completed the pipe-laying of a section in German waters recently. Nord Stream 2 plans to complete major construction work of one of the branches of the link in the first half of 2021.

Zurich would be the third company this month to pull out of NS2. The prospect of losing access to the U.S. market has already seen a certifier, Norway’s Det Norske Veritas Holding AS, and the Danish engineering firm Ramboll, cut ties with the project. Zurich is one of a number of insurers linked to the pipeline.

Related: U.S. prepares new sanctions against Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

Nord Stream 2 could still turn to other insurers including in Russia, as there’s no restriction on the nationality of the company writing insurance for the project, according to the Danish Energy Agency.

As we reported earlier, Germany's Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) has granted pipeline company Nord Stream 2 AG permission to complete gas pipeline construction.

A statement from the agency gave approval for an anchor-position vessel to operate in German waters, reversing a decision that work could only begin again in May.

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