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Denmark denies reports about halting Nord Stream 2 construction due to cod spawning

Pipes had already been laid through the fisheries restriction zone by the time the cod spawning season began, the head of media relations at the Danish Energy Agency explained

STOCKHOLM, July 27. /TASS/. The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has denied reports by German media that the pipe-laying for the Nord Stream 2 project was temporarily impossible because of cod spawning, Ture Falbe-Hansen, head of media relations at DEA, told TASS.

"The condition in the permit concerning cod spawning is as follows: "In connection with the planning of the construction work, Nord Stream 2 AG shall strive to avoid pipe-laying in the fisheries restriction zone, which is known as the Bornholm Basin during the period July to August when cod spawn. No intervention works may be carried out during the aforementioned period." The condition is only relevant in the fisheries restriction zone, which is known as the Bornholm Basin. Nord Stream 2 AG has finished pipe-laying in December 2019 in this area, and the condition is not relevant for the rest of the route," he explained.

On Saturday, the German Die Welt newspaper reported that no construction work was under way at the bottom of the Baltic Sea near Bornholm Island. The newspaper stressed that in July and August, cod spawns in those waters and work in that area is prohibited on environmental grounds. However, according to preliminary information, Russia will be able to start work in September, the newspaper said.

On July 6, DEA, at the request of Nord Stream 2 AG, the project’s operator, granted a permit for the use of anchored vessels on the unfinished section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline southeast of Bornholm Island. In the new decision, the agency stressed that the rest of the pipeline, passing through the exclusive economic zone of Denmark, is outside the area where trawling, anchorage and bottom work are not recommended due to the danger of dumped chemical warfare agents entering the marine environment.

The Nord Stream 2 project involves building two gas pipeline branches with a total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters to be pumped annually from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The gas pipeline has been 93% complete to date. The delay in the project was due to the fact that at the end of December 2019, as a result of US sanctions, Switzerland’s Allseas halted work on the gas pipeline and withdrew its vessels. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller reassured 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 on the project would be completed and the gas pipeline would be commissioned.