Sweden wants Baltic pipeline study to include other routes

Oct 31, 2007 01:00 AM

The Swedish government said it wants the environmental impact study of the planned 1,100 km Russian-German gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea, to include alternative routes.
"When the application arrives, we will look at it very carefully in accordance with Swedish law and international conventions. The pipeline's impact on the sensitive Baltic Sea environment will be carefully investigated," Sweden's environment minister Andreas Carlgren said.

He said the information the pipeline's owner, Nord Stream AG, has presented to date, shows that the chosen path in the Swedish economic zone in the Baltic Sea and close to the island Gotland, goes through a "number" of environmentally problematic and "risky" areas.
"For the government to be able to judge the environmental impact, a comprehensive analysis of high quality is required, which allow for the comparison of the proposed route with other routes which are advantageous from an environmental perspective. The environmental impact study shouldinclude accounts of such alternative routes," Carlgren said.

"In the information the company provided, it appears as if a more eastern laying would better avoid environmental problems and risks. It is not up to the company to show which other routes are possible from an environmental and risk point of view, and why it has chosen this particular route," he added.
The proposed pipeline, which is to be built under the seabed to link Russia's natural gas reserves with German markets, has been criticized by Swedish officials. Former Social Democrat Prime Minister Goeran Persson has said the project could set off a "major environmental disturbance."
However visiting Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov promised in Stockholm, that the planned gas pipeline will be built in an environmentally responsible way.

The pipeline is scheduled to start operation in 2010.
Nord Stream is a joint venture company established in December 2005 with the purpose of carrying out feasibility study and building the Nord Stream Pipeline. Gazprom holds a 51-% interest in the joint venture, and BASF and E.ON hold 24.5 % each.

Source / AFX News Limited
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