Update: Nord Stream Turns to Finland after Estonian Rejection
Nord Stream, the project for a pipeline throught the Baltic, says it will turn to Finland after Estonia refused to allow it carry out marine research in its waters.
Yesterday it emerged that the Estonian government has turned down a request from the Nord Stream project to carry out surveys in the Baltic.
Nord Stream now says it will explore the alternative in Finnish waters to carry out the necessary work. "Nord Stream AG will now concentrate on developing further the Finnish route alternative in the Gulf of Finland," the consortium said in a statement.
The Swiss-based consortium, which wants to build a comprehensive natural gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea, sent a request to Estonia's Foreign Ministry on August 22, saying it was seeking potential locations for two additional gas pipelines.
The Estonian Foreign Ministry advised the cabinet to turn down the request because of the Exclusive Economic Zone Act. Nord Stream said in yesterday's statement that a "broad range of issues" remained with Estonia. These included "transboundary environmental impacts, dealing with the possibly affected communities such as fisherman, maintaining the dialogue with the environmental NGOs, ensuring the necessary information flow for maritime navigation and safety, etc."
It said discussions would be co-operative and transparent as had taken place during development of Nord Stream Lines 1 and 2.
In rejecting the request for survey approval, Estonian Minister for the Environment, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, told a newspaper that the refusal was based on fears of an entity other than the Estonian state gaining first knowledge of resources.
"Do you want Nord Stream, in researching the seafloor, to become the first to obtain information about the natural resources that are down there and their potential for exploitation?" Pentus-Rosimannus said.