Nord Stream 2 Takes Alternative Route amid Danish Stalling

The pipeline that would double the flow of natural gas from Russia to Germany will bypass Danish territory after authorities in Copenhagen dithered for 2 years without responding to permit request. the building consortium said.

Nord Stream 2 AG. the company building the pipeline under the Baltic Sea. said on Friday it would withdraw the permit application to lay the pipes southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm. The application was sent to the Danish Energy Agency (Energistyrelsen) in April 2017. but never received a response.

The measure was needed to protect the shareholders and European investors from Austria. France. Germany and the Netherlands from the risk of “further delays and financial losses.“ the consortium said in a statement. Applications for two other proposed routers. which would bypass Danish territorial waters. were filed in August 2018 and April this year. and are still pending.

The pipeline is “past the point of no return.“ Alexey Miller. head of Gazprom. said at a shareholder’s meeting in Saint Petersburg on Friday. The company is one of the main investors in Nord Stream 2. 

“We are working from the idea that Nord Stream 2 will be realised strictly in accordance with the planned timetable.“ which would see construction completed by the end of 2019 and the pipeline becoming operation in 2020. Miller said.

Until it hit the snag near Bornholm. Nord Stream 2 has followed the same route as the existing pipeline operational since 2011. reaching the 1000+ kilometer mark in April this year. Once completed. the 1.230-kilometer pipeline will double the volume of Russian gas exports to Western Europe. 

US President Donald Trump has frequently spoken out against the pipeline. trying to pressure Austria. Germany and other European countries to abandon the project in favor of the far more expensive American liquefied natural gas (LNG). recently dubbed “molecules of freedom“ by the US Department of Energy. Poland and Ukraine have also been particularly vocal against the project. as they stand to lose millions in transit fees they are currently collecting from pipelines built during the Soviet era. as well as any political leverage that comes with their control.

Earlier this month. Trump said he was “thinking about“ sanctioning the pipeline in order to “protect“ Germany from Russia. However. the subject of Nord Stream 2 reportedly did not come up at his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka. Japan.


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