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Nord Stream 2 operator cannot confirm reports about project’s launch in 2020

The cost of construction is estimated at 9.5 billion euros

MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, was forced to submit a third application for laying the pipeline to the north-west of Bornholm, to the Danish Energy Agency, but does not consider it as an option, a representative of Nord Stream 2 AG told TASS.

Earlier, Bloomberg reported referring to the company’s documents, that taking into account the possible construction of the pipeline to the north-west of Bornholm Island, commissioning of the project is possible in the second half of 2020.

"Indeed, something is said about 2020 in the schedule of the third application, but, from our point of view, this is an illegal process of issuing permits. Therefore, we cannot confirm that the deadline for commissioning the project in 2020 is really being considered," the representative told TASS.

"Nord Stream 2 has been forced to apply as the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) decision of 26 March 2019 requests an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and accompanying application for a third route (the South-Eastern route in the Danish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)) and noted that Nord Stream 2 would not receive any decision on the pending North-West route in the Danish EEZ application before applying for this third route," the operator said in a statement obtained by TASS.

Nord Stream 2 AG does not agree with this decision therefore it has applied concurrently with filing the appeal to the Danish Energy Board of Appeal.

"The appeal claims that the decision of 26 March 2019 is illegal (in Danish "ugyldig"). Consequently, the Decision must be annulled such that the DEA proceeds with the granting of a permit for the North-western route in the Danish EEZ for Nord Stream 2 without delay," the operator said in a statement.

The operator stressed that it already has two pending applications with the Danish Energy Agency.

"Both permitting processes, which included consultations with the public and expert authorities, nationally and internationally, have shown that all technical and environmental prerequisites are fulfilled and a permit could be granted for either route," the operator said in the statement.

About the project

The Nord Stream 2 project will consist of two gas pipeline lines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The total capacity of the project is 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The cost of construction is estimated at 9.5 billion euros.

The pipeline will bypass transit countries - Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic countries through exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries - Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Only Denmark has not issued permission for the construction. Nord Stream 2 AG, the project’s operator, still expects to get the permit from Denmark by the end of 2019.

The main route lies in the territorial waters south of Bornholm. The alternative, which is 36 km longer than the main one, goes through the exclusive economic zone of the country to the north-west of Bornholm. However, DEA asked Nord Stream 2 AG to include in the environmental assessment also the option of laying a gas pipeline in the Danish exclusive economic zone south of Bornholm.

As for the alternative option, the construction of the gas pipeline is regulated by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Danish Foreign Ministry will no longer be able to block the project. The initial route is still preferable for Nord Stream 2 AG, and the company still expects that it will be approved by the Danish authorities.

The sole shareholder of Nord Stream 2 AG is Gazprom. Gazprom's European partners - Wintershall, Uniper, OMV, Engie and Royal Dutch Shell - will finance 50% of the project.