Nord Stream Pipeline permitted in Finland, Sweden

The pipelines will be built across the Baltic Sea through 506 km of Sweden’s EEZ and 374 km of Finnish territory.

The Nord Stream joint venture – consisting of Gazprom, BASF/Wintershall Holding AG, E.ON Ruhrgas AG and NV Nederlandse Gasunie – is aiming to obtain all required permits for the project by the end of 2009, and is currently waiting for the Western Finland Environment Permit Authority to grant a water construction permit.

The approvals process for the pipeline is also continuing in Russia and Germany, with construction scheduled to begin in early 2010.

Nord Stream Senior Management Adviser Lars O Gr̦nstedt said that many possible pipeline routes had been considered, evaluating factors such as seabed conditions, maritime traffic, fisheries, environmental conditions, munitions from both World Wars and cultural heritage.

“The Swedish permit is the result of extensive environmental studies, close co-operation with the authorities, as well as consultations with stakeholders and experts over the course of several years.”

Nord Stream Head of European Union (EU) Representation Sebastian Sass has also said that reducing the environmental impacts to the Baltic Sea was paramount to the company and Finnish authorities.

“Pipelines can only be built after a thorough analysis of all potential risks, and the Nord Stream project is no exception.”

The two parallel pipelines will transport natural gas from Russia to EU countries. The first pipeline is expected be operational by 2011, and will have a capacity of approximately 27.5 Bcm/a. The second pipeline will go online during the second phase of the project, with full capacity expected to reach 55 Bcm/a.

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