MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Finnish government said on Wednesday it had given its consent for construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through its exclusive economic zone.
“On 5 April 2018, the Finnish Government gave its consent to the Nord Stream 2 AG’s gas pipeline construction project in respect of the section that passes through Finland’s exclusive economic zone,” the statement read.
According to the statement, the consent is conditional, “which means the applicant has to meet the terms presented in the Government’s decision.”
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“The party responsible for implementing the project must comply with the general principle of prudence in preventing and minimizing accidents and damage, must take due account of the susceptibility and vulnerability of the Baltic Sea and other existing projects in the exclusive economic zone,” the statement said.
Later in the day, the Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, said it was “very pleased to have obtained this permit,” however, one more permit from Finland is required.
“In Finland, Nord Stream 2 needs to obtain two permits for the construction and operation of the pipelines in the Finnish EEZ. The second permit is granted according to the Water Act and a decision is expected to be made within the next weeks,” the company’s press service said, adding that the Nord Stream 2 will be running for about 374 kilometers (232 miles) across Finland’s exclusive economic zone.
The company has already received the necessary permits in Germany, while the national permitting procedures in the other three countries along the route – Russia, Sweden and Denmark – are proceeding as planned, the press release said.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom and five European companies, France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, UK-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. The pipeline aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union by transiting the Baltic Sea to Germany.
The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe, such as Germany and Austria, and opposed by others, including eastern European states, which currently transfer Russian gas to Europe and may suffer transit revenues drop if the Nord Stream 2 is implemented.