Berlin gives permission to lay 2km of Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Baltic Sea

The Nord Stream 2 AG consortium will be able to lay two kilometers of pipes in German waters in May. The German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) said that it had agreed to immediately allow the construction under the permit issued on January 14. According to the statement, Nord Stream 2 AG is only allowed to lay the pipes on the bottom of the sea, and any installation work should be carried out later.

The agency stressed that the decision was taken "after a thorough assessment of all interests that should have been taken into account." BSH said it had considered environmental aspects, in particular nesting of birds. The two-kilometer section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under construction is located in German exclusive economic zone.

In January, BSH gave permit for laying of pipes on a 16.5-kilometre stretch in the German waters of the Baltic Sea beginning at the end of September until the end of May. The permit was challenged by the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) and Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), but in early April the agency rejected the objections of environmentalists "after careful study".

DUH and NABU then filed a lawsuit against the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline at the Hamburg Administrative Court. Pipe-laying work will have negative consequences for the marine ecosystem and protected area for birds, environmentalists believe. BHS believes that significant adverse effects on the marine ecosystem and bird-protected area in the Bay of Pomerania can be avoided if the construction is stopped.

North Stream 2 is about 95 percent completed. Construction work on the section of the gas pipeline in Danish territorial waters is now coming to an end.

The United States, Ukraine and the Baltic states oppose the construction of the pipeline. At the same time, the German government supports this project.

  Nord Stream, Russia, Germany