Denmark opens comment period for third route of Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipeline

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the Nord Stream 2 AG natural gas offshore pipeline route to the south-east of Bornholm, Denmark has been made available to the public by the country’s coordinating authority, the Danish Energy Agency (DEA).

Nord Stream 2 South-East route with variants. Source: DEA

This route passes outside Danish territorial waters and stretches within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Denmark.

The twin offshore gas pipeline project development in the Baltic Sea is operated by Russian Gazprom’s subsidiary, Nord Stream 2 AG.

Nord Stream 2 AG said on Wednesday that the EIA is based on detailed environmental research conducted along the pipeline route where the pipeline is planned to be constructed.

The pipeline operator also said that the comprehensive report describes the main characteristics and technical solutions of the planned pipeline system, as well as detailed assessments of potential impacts on the physio-chemical, biological and socio-economic environment in the Danish sector.

Nord Stream 2 AG added that the EIA also includes an assessment of potential trans-boundary impacts which may arise from activities to be carried out in Denmark, and identifies measures to prevent and mitigate potential adverse environmental impacts.

The public, Danish authorities, and organizations are invited to provide comments or raise their questions on the filed EIA report to the DEA until July 10, 2019. This deadline is extended to July 17 for the trans-boundary consultation under the Espoo Convention. A hearing organized by the DEA, where interested parties can raise their questions, will be held in Rønne on Bornholm on June 19.

 

Third application filed in April despite ‘legal reservations’

 

Nord Stream 2 AG submitted a third permit application and an EIA to the DEA on April 15, 2019, despite its legal reservations. This south-eastern route runs through an area that was previously disputed between Poland and Denmark, and therefore not available for any project developer. The area will become available once the border agreement has been ratified by both Denmark and Poland.

The permit application and EIA were submitted following a decision made by the DEA on March 26. Nord Stream 2 AG, however, appealed the DEA’s decision on April 17 as the company considered its request for a third permitting and consultation procedure disproportionate and illegal. Nord Stream 2 AG accused Denmark of deliberately trying to delay the project by asking for the third route.

Namely, Nord Stream 2 AG already has two other separate route applications pending with the DEA. The first, applied for in April 2017, is based on the guidance received from the Danish authorities for the existing Nord Stream Pipeline and crosses Danish territorial waters.

The second application, applied for in August 2018, is an alternative route in Danish EEZ passing north-west of Bornholm. At this time, the north-western route was the environmentally preferred route within the Danish EEZ.

In accordance with the permits already granted in four countries, work on the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline is ongoing in Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Germany.

By mid-April, a total of 1,000 kilometers of the contentious Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline had been laid in Finnish, Swedish, and German waters.

The operator said on Wednesday that now more than 1,200 kilometers of the two lines – more than half of the total distance – have already been laid.


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