Nord Stream 2 AG submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment report and applied to the Danish Energy Agency to access passage through the Danish exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to the northwest of Bornholm, the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 consortium announced on Friday.
The Nord Stream 2 Company said this route offers an alternative to passing through Danish territorial waters, which although is the preferred route, could become legally untenable.
"Nord Stream 2 AG is not withdrawing from the ongoing procedure for the preferred route as applied for in April 2017, and which is based on the guidance received from Danish authorities during the successful planning and construction of the existing Nord Stream pipeline," the company explained.
The amendment of the Continental Shelf Act, which was announced in January 2018, provides the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs the right to recommend, based on wide-ranging considerations, whether an application for infrastructure projects, such as gas transmission pipelines traversing territorial waters, will or will not be further handled by the Danish Energy Agency.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommendation has been pending since January 2018 and, therefore, the company decided to explore alternative routes outside of Danish territorial waters.
"Based on the survey works, engineering and environmental assessments carried out in the last months, a viable route has been identified. This 175 kilometer-long alternative, passing north-west of Bornholm, crosses the Danish EEZ only," the company noted.
According to the company, this application is not a substitute for the current application that was filed in April 2017.
"Nord Stream 2 maintains that the first application provides the optimal route for the pipelines in Danish waters and will remain the preferred route. To date, Nord Stream 2 has received the national permits for all the other national jurisdictions through which the pipelines pass between Russia and Germany," it added.
- Objections to the project
Denmark passed a law at the end of November to permit the Danish foreign minister to ban Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from traversing its waters.
The bill will allow foreign, security and defense policies to be considered as an argument in support of the ban when Denmark is to decide whether energy companies should be allowed to disconnect power cables and pipelines in Danish territorial waters.
In effect, the latest decision will permit the Danish government to decide whether Gazprom's Nord Stream 2 should be allowed through Danish waters.
The project also faces resistance from some European countries including Lithuania, Poland and Denmark.
The entry point of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into the Baltic Sea will be the Ust-Luga area of the Leningrad Region in Russia from where the pipeline will stretch across the Baltic Sea to Germany.
The line's route passes through the Danish island of Bornholm, between Sweden and Poland.
The Nord Stream 2 is a 1,200 kilometer-long pipeline project, which aims to double the current capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year for the Nord Stream pipeline.
By Murat Temizer