While Denmark is yet to give permission for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline after Sweden became the latest EU country to sign off on construction permissions, the pipeline to carry Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany is now all set to begin.
In an interview with Sputnik, Jens Moeller, a representative of Nord Stream AG, said that the permission to build in Russia is a milestone event both for the Russian leg of the planned pipeline and for the Nord Stream 2 project as a whole.
Moeller also revealed the details of the construction of the Russian section of the pipeline, slated to begin shortly.
“This takes a long time because the implementation of some operations depends on the time of year, that’s why an early start of work is vital for the timely completion of the project,” Moeller said.
When asked about the ecological aspects of the project and how it conforms with Russia’s nature protection laws, he said that Nord Stream 2 Company was working closely in line with stringent international standards, including those laid out by the International Financial Corporation.
He added that in January 2018, Russia’s nature protection watchdog, Rosprirodnadzor, gave the project a clean bill of health.
“The experts thus confirmed that the implementation of the Russian leg of the pipeline was absolutely nature-friendly and fully in line with the country’s environmental protection laws,” he noted.
According to Moeller, construction work is scheduled to kick off shortly to make sure that the pipeline goes on-stream before the end of next year, as planned.
While Nord Stream 2 Company has already secured official permissions to build from Germany, Finland and Sweden, Denmark is still mulling over the project.
When asked about the current status of the project, Jens Moeller said that he had every reason to believe that the application made in April 2017 would be granted.
“The route we have asked for is fully in line with the Danish authorities’ requirements, and we consider it as the best possible both in terms of technical feasibility and environmental protection,” Moeller observed.
He added that the project was being implemented as planned and construction permits had already been granted by four of the five countries the pipeline will run through.
READ MORE: Why Sweden Gave Green Light to Nord Stream 2
“A great deal of preparatory work is currently being done in Germany, Finland and Russia based on existing permissions, and construction under the Baltic Sea is slated to begin next summer,” he said.
Jens Moeller has refused to elaborate on the continuing debate about Nord Stream 2 as a whole and attempts by some European countries and United States to block its construction.
“As the developers of this project, we are not in a position to comment on political matters. Nord Stream 2 will ensure Europe’s energy security. Our shareholders and the five European investors — ENGIE, OMV, Shell, Uniper and Wintershall – are fully committed to the project,” Jens Moeller emphasized.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom with France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, UK-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall.
It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany.