Is ‘Nord Stream’ Holding Back Information About the Gas Pipeline in the Baltic Sea?

februar 15, 2008 at 6:45 am 29 kommentarer

Screenshot from the BBC feature about Nord StreamThe much discussed Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline planned by the German-Russian company Nord Stream, has suffered a setback by having their application declined by the Swedish Government. The Swedish government have found it lacking key information, stating that it does not fulfill the requirements to be considered.

It is not clear what specific information is missing from the application, but the Swedish Government state that the following requirements were sent to Nord Stream.

  1. An Environmental Impact Assessment.
  2. The cross-border consultations in accordance with the Espoo Convention.
  3. The results and conclusions of ongoing and planned investigations and inquiries.
  4. Information on alternative routes for the entire stretch of the pipelines
  5. Detailed and in-depth material in the technical description and in the environmental impact assessment in the maintenance platform application.

According to Nord Stream, The company has handed in the following information:

  1. A technical description in accordance with the Swedish Continental Shelf Act.
  2. An application for the service platform, which includes a technical description and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, in accordance with the Swedish EEZ Act.
  3. An environmental study that describes the potential impact of the pipelines on the environment.
  4. Comments from 29 Swedish authorities, organisations and citizens within the framework of the international consultations in accordance with the Espoo Convention

So according to Nord Stream themselves, they haven’t handed in information on an alternative route for the whole stretch. This highlights critique made by experts who say that Nord Stream is not even interesting in an alternative route: “Because Nord Stream main task is to eliminate Poland and other transit countries from gas deliveries.”

At the moment Energy deliveries to Europe goes through Ukraine and Poland and for that fact both countries enjoys discounted gas from Russia. Speculations about the pipeline have always been centered around political and personal gain, rather than securing Energy delivery to Europe.

The Island of GotlandThis is especially worth noticing as Poland recently proposed a low cost alternative that would run through Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. This pipeline would be considerably cheaper and would stretch over a much shorter distance. It would also eliminate some environmental water concerns raised about the water and sea bird life around Gotland, as well as the concerns with the sea bed being destroyed.

Dirk Von AmelnNord Stream describes the applications as a starting point for an intensive dialogue with the Swedish Government. This might suggest that the company have expected a decline already on submission. And according to Nord Stream Director Dirk Von Ameln: “The the applications for the Swedish Government had to be accelerated in order to get discussions started.”

The German-Russian company promotes an open and transparent discussion about the permission discussion process, this openness has however been radically questioned by Russian Blogger and Journalist Grigory Pasko, Who says that: “if Russia and Germany had been neighbours there would be no openness at all.”


Entry filed under: Environment, Europe, News, Water. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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