The construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is on schedule, Steffen Ebert, spokesman of Nord Stream 2 for Germany said on Friday, ONA reports citing Xinhua.
Construction work in the German waters of the Baltic Sea is almost completed since only a 16-km stretch of the pipeline remains to be built until the Danish border is reached, said Ebert.
The Danish government has yet to submit the necessary permits for the construction to proceed in its territory, according to the Nord Stream 2 project company.
If Denmark fails to grant these permits by summer 2019, an "approximately 35 km longer" alternative route will be followed, Ebert told Xinhua on Friday, adding that this would not delay the project.
Nord Stream 2 is to start operations in the second half of 2019 and is designed to transport Russian gas to Germany through the Baltic Sea, running parallel to the older Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which was completed in 2011.
The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of two 1,230-km pipelines, which are planned to transport up to 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. At current prices, the pipeline will channel natural gas worth almost 5 billion euros (5.64 billion U.S. dollars) every year.
Internationally, Nord Stream 2 is facing strong headwinds. In February, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell stated that the United States had agreed to the first pipeline between Russia and Germany "but Nord Stream 2 goes too far."
The United States would not "fundamentally" oppose to Russian gas supplies to Europe, Grenell said. "But we are against too much Russian gas that makes our partners dependent."
During the Munich Security Conference in February, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her full support for the project and said that even during the Cold War Germany imported natural gas from the Soviet Union. Merkel said that she did not see "why times should be so much worse today."
Ebert also pointed out that the project would be implemented on the basis of "existing national permits" and "in full compliance with applicable international law and with the full support of financial investors."