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Nord Stream 2 AG cannot start pipelaying due to possible appeal, says regulator

The permission granted by the Danish Energy Agency to Nord Stream 2 AG to use anchored vessels can be appealed to the Danish Energy Board of Appeal before August 3, according to the press representative

STOCKHOLM, July 6. / TASS /. Nord Stream 2 AG will not be able to immediately start laying pipes on the unfinished section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline southeast of Bornholm after obtaining permission to use anchored vessels, the head of the Danish Energy Energy (DEA) press service, Ture Falbe-Hansen told TASS on Monday.

The permission of the Danish Energy Agency at the request of Nord Stream AG to use such vessels can be appealed to the Danish Energy Board of Appeal before August 3, the press representative said.

"Nord Stream 2 AG will have to wait four weeks. Our decision today can be appealed to the Danish Energy Board of Appeal before August 3, and work cannot be started during this period," he said.

Based on Section 2, Paragraph 6 of the Continental Shelf Act, the right to appeal is granted to "local and national associations or organizations whose main task is to protect nature and the environment, or that, by virtue of their goals, protect substantial interests in the field of recreation." Together with the complaint, these associations or organizations must submit their charters to the appeals council as confirmation that they are local or national and that their purpose meets the stated requirements. An appeal must be filed in writing within 4 weeks from the date of the decision, that is, before August 3, 2020.

Earlier, the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) gave permission to use vessels with anchor positioning on an unfinished section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline southeast of Bornholm Island at the request of Nord Stream 2 AG.

According to the statement, the Danish Energy Agency has decided that Nord Stream 2 AG can use pipelayers with anchor positioning when laying the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The new decision is a change in the conditions set out in the permit issued by the agency on October 30, 2019. This means that Nord Stream 2 AG can use pipe-laying vessels both with anchor positioning and equipped with a dynamic positioning system. The permit is issued in accordance with the Continental Shelf Act and with obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). According to it, "Denmark is obliged to permit the construction of transit pipelines taking into account safety, resources and the environment." 

In the new decision, the DEA emphasized that the remainder of the pipeline passing through Denmark’s exclusive economic zone "is located outside the area where trawling, anchorage and bottom work are not recommended because of the risk of flooding of toxic warfare substances into the marine environment."

The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction of two gas pipeline strings with the total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters per year from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The gas pipeline is 93% complete to date. The halt in the implementation of the project is due to the fact that at the end of December 2019, due to US sanctions, the Swiss Allseas stopped the construction of the gas pipeline and pulled out its vessels. The head of Gazprom, Alexei Miller, said that the pipeline would be completed anyway. In January, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that before the end of this year, or in Q1 2021 work will be completed and the gas pipeline will be commissioned.