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2019-05-02 16:30:00

THE THIRD NORD STREAM 2 AGAIN

THE THIRD NORD STREAM 2 AGAIN

PLATTS - The company building Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas link to Germany is appealing the Danish Energy Agency's request for a third route option through Danish waters, in a bid to speed up the approval process.

Nord Stream 2 is already waiting for the DEA to decide on permit applications for two different routes, and claims the request for a third route option is illegal.

It wants the DEA to stop looking at the third route and grant a permit for the route running northwest of the Danish island of Bornholm "without delay," Nord Stream 2 EU adviser Sebastian Sass told S&P Global Platts Tuesday.

The lack of a Danish permit is creating uncertainty about whether Nord Stream 2 can start flowing gas by the end of this year as planned, before Russia's transit contract with Ukraine expires.

Nord Stream 2 has all the other permits it needs, and is on track in the other countries -- Finland, Germany, Russia and Sweden -- on its route across the Baltic Sea.

Laying the pipe for the northwestern route -- about 180 km -- could take around a month with two lay barges at average pipe lay rates of 3 km/day, according to Nord Stream 2 data.

Nord Stream 2 also formally submitted a permit request for the third route, which runs through Denmark's exclusive economic zone south of Bornholm, on April 15.

NO DANISH DEADLINE

The DEA was not immediately available to comment on the appeal.

It said earlier this month that it had requested the third route option as "the immediate assessment" is that a southeastern route "is more appropriate" based on environmental and safety criteria.

The southeastern route only became an option after a recent agreement between Denmark and Poland on their exclusive economic zone borders, the DEA said.

It also said it would only issue a permit for one route, and that it was not possible to say how long it would take to decide.

Nord Stream 2 applied in August for a permit for the northwestern route, which goes through Denmark's exclusive economic zone, avoiding its territorial waters.

It first applied in April 2017 for a route running through Danish territorial waters south of Bornholm.

Since then Denmark changed its laws so that pipelines through territorial waters require a positive recommendation from Denmark's foreign ministry that they are compatible with Denmark's foreign, security and defense policy.

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