Nord Stream: A New Dimension of European Security of Supply
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Matthias Warnig
Matthias Warnig
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In Europe the increasing demand for gas along with the falling domestic production make the development of additional pipeline capacities a matter of vital importance. OAO Gazprom, E.ON Ruhrgas AG, and Wintershall AG have set out to create required transport capacities by constructing of Nord Stream – the new gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea.
The pipeline will be approximately 1200 kilometres long. It is scheduled to begin operation in 2010; initially one pipeline with a transport capacity of around 27.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year will be built. In the second phase a second leg will be laid which will double the transport capacity to around 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year. The total investment for the offshore pipeline is estimated to be at least 5 billion euros.

The offshore solution is the result of a thorough analysis over many years of technical, environmental, economic and security of supply factors. As a general objective, the pipeline route will be determined with the aim to achieve a line as direct as possible, but respecting or avoiding adverse natural conditions, environmentally sensitive areas, military exclusion zones, major navigation traffic lanes and special areas commissioned to other economic or recreational interests. Nord Stream will be routed in such a way that it does not come near munition dump sites.

Nord Stream follows highest international environmental standards in implementing the project. It is certainly determined to observe all environmental, maritime and legal requirements, both national and international, during planning, construction, and operation of the pipeline, as well as the companys’ and it shareholders’ own high standards and internationally recognized working practices.

Nord Stream will run through the Exclusive Economic Zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany as well as through the territorial waters of Russia and Germany. The pipeline construction is subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in accordance with international (Espoo Convention) and national legislation in the concerned countries. The work on the environmental impact assessment report should be finished by autumn 2007. Nord Stream aims to acquire the final environmental impact assessment approval in summer 2008.

To implement this time schedule, Nord Stream is determined to do all necessary studies and to continue a broad dialogue with all concerned countries and governmental organisations to work out optimised solutions.