Denmark authorizes Nord Stream 2 construction

The Danish Energy Agency has given permission for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in Denmark’s exclusive economic zone, Interfax reports.

The pipeline will be laid to the south-east of the island of Bornholm.

Andriy Kobolyev, CEO of Naftogaz of Ukraine, wrote on Facebook that Ukraine had been expecting Denmark to make a decision in autumn.

Kobolyev said that Denmark’s principled stance delayed the project, but “geopolitical weapons cannot be halted using instruments that regulate trade relations exclusively”.

The CEO said that Naftogaz now plans to focus on supporting Ukrainian diplomats in the matter of tightening the international sanctions on Russia.

“Even more important is to complete the reform of the gas market and fully implement European energy legislation in Ukraine. This legislation will protect us, just as it protects EU consumers. The arbitration and judicial proceedings between Naftogaz and Gazprom remain important, as well as a quality unbundling, which will enable Ukraine to attract a strong western partner to manage the Ukrainian gas transportation system,” the head of Naftogaz added.

At trilateral talks on gas transit through Ukraine on October 28, the Russian delegation brought up the topic of authorization for the completion of Nord Stream 2. Kobolyev noted that the topic was brought up in a bilateral setting, in which Ukraine was not represented.

According to sources in the European Commission, one of Gazprom’s arguments was: “Our project is not only purely commercial, it is completely pro-European, because it has European partner companies. We are willing to share the gas transportation profits with you.”

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, connecting Russian suppliers to consumers in Europe. Its designed length is more than 1,200 km, and it will have a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year. The project is being realized by Gazprom in conjunction with the European companies Engie, Uniper, OMV, Shell and Wintershall.

Denmark was the only country that had not given Gazprom permission to lay the pipeline in its territory. In June, the pipeline’s operating company, Nord Stream 2 AG, withdrew its initial application, submitted in 2017, to lay the pipeline through Denmark’s territorial waters to the south of Bornholm. The Danish Energy Agency also considered two other applications. It announced that the matter would be concluded after an assessment of the environmental impact and of security concerns.

  Nord Stream - 2, Gazprom, Russia, Denmark