Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline seeks new route to obtain Danish permit

Source: Heren

2018/08/10

Nord Stream 2 seeks new route to obtain Danish permit

LONDON (ICIS)--The company behind the planned Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline is seeking an alternative route to avoid permitting issues with Denmark.

Nord Stream 2 AG submitted an application to the Danish Energy Agency on Friday to use a route through the Danish exclusive economic zone (EEZ) north of the island of Bornholm to construct the proposed 55 billion cubic metre/year string.

Its previous application was for a route through Danish territorial waters south of Bornholm.

Denmark is the last country needed to approve the pipe’s construction, after Russia and Sweden issued key permits in June. German and Finnish approvals had already been awarded.

As Nord Stream 2 AG has been awaiting a decision from the Danish ministry of foreign affairs since January 2018, it decided to submit an alternative application for a route through the EEZ.

The company said in a release on Friday that it would be keeping its original application open and that this remained its preferred route.

Eastern-European opposition

As well as the problems obtaining a permit from Denmark, the line continues to receive stiff opposition from central and eastern European states.

These countries – with Ukraine and Poland most vocal – are looking to block the pipe’s development at an EU level, particularly through amendments to the bloc’s gas directive.

Although Europe’s import demand is expected to grow significantly in the coming years largely due to the demise of the Dutch Groningen field, many central eastern European states are concerned Russia’s traditional Ukrainian supply route may become obsolete which would deprive these countries of transit fees.

Next steps

If built, Gazprom expects the pipe to begin operation in October 2019.

The first string of the original Nord Stream took 14 months to build, indicating that a final investment decision would need to be taken by the end of August to meet the October 2019 deadline.

However, given the pre-existing knowledge of the underwater territory, subsequent pipe lays may be quicker.