Sweden Gives Nod to Nord Stream 2

The Swedish government said it approved the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline in its waters. International law enables any state to lay pipelines through an exclusive economic zone, the government of Sweden said. Sweden is a coastal state, it cannot interfere with this right, therefore issued a permit for the construction of a pipeline in its exclusive economic zone.

Germany and Finland have already given green light for the construction of the gas pipeline. Permissions from Denmark and Russia are pending.

The permission from Denmark may be as part of the route passes its territorial waters (12-mile zone) off the island of Bornholm. Last year, the country’s parliament adopted a bill that allows the country’s foreign ministry to prohibit the construction of a new pipeline in territorial waters, based on “foreign policy interests and national security issues.”

The permit procedure in Denmark is based on an environmental impact assessment. Gazprom handed the results of the assessment along with the Nord Stream 2 blueprint over to the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) a year ago. However, the bill passed after that significantly expanded the grounds for the ban.

Should the Danish government takes an intransigent stance, the route of the pipe can be changed, said Jens Muller, a spokesman for Nord Stream 2. Then the gas pipeline will pass through the exclusive economic zone of Denmark, where the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea allows for the laying of pipelines.

The project “Nord Stream – 2” involves the construction of two strings with a total capacity of 55 billion cu m of gas a year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. A new pipe will be laid next to the already existing Nord Stream gas pipeline. It should increase the capacity of the northern export route of Russian gas by half – to 110 bn cu m a year. Its total cost is estimated at 9.5 bn euros. Gazprom expects to finish in 2019. Gazprom’s partners in the project are five European companies: French Engie, the German Uniper and Wintershall, the Austrian OMV and the British-Dutch Shell.

The project stirred heated debates in the European Union. Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine have been active opponents of the project.

With the start of the Nord Stream 2, the export flows of Russian gas will be redistributed, primarily at the expense of Ukrainian transit




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