Nord Stream 2 suggests alternative natgas pipeline route amid Danish concerns

Source: ICIS News

2018/08/10

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The Nord Stream 2 consortium has proposed an alternative route for its natural gas pipeline project to address concerns from Denmark, it said on Friday.

The 1,230-km pipeline system will transport natural gas under the Baltic Sea from Russia directly to Germany after starting up in 2020.

The project, which will complement the earlier Nord Stream 1 commissioned back in 2011, has met with opposition from environmentalists and some EU countries who fear that the EU could become too dependent on Russia for its energy.

It has also been criticised by US President Donald Trump, and there is speculation that the project could become the target of US sanctions.

With the exception of Denmark, Nord Stream 2 has received permits from all the other national jurisdictions through which the pipelines will pass between Russia and Germany.

Nord Stream 2 said on Friday that it proposed to Denmark a route that only passes through the Danish exclusive economic zone (EEZ) but does not pass through Danish territorial waters – unlike Nord Stream 2’s preferred route under its original application.

Nord Stream 2 added that in proposing the alternative it does not withdraw the original application, which sets out “the optimal route for the pipeline in Danish waters and will remain the preferred route”.

Nord Stream 2 is organised as a public joint stock company with headquarters in Zug, Switzerland.

Its investors include, among others, Shell, Russia’s Gazprom, BASF’s Wintershall oil and gas business and Austrian energy and petrochemicals major OMV.

Germany’s DIW Berlin research institute said in a study last month that Nord Stream 2 was not needed as it was based on unrealistically high forecasts of natural-gas demand.

In case of need, Germany should rather look to importing liquefied natural gas (LNG).

While Germany current does not have LNG import terminals, LNG could be sourced without any problems from terminals in the Netherlands, DIW said.