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    New Danish permit for Baltic Pipe 'months away': ministry


This will mean a headache for the project backers, one of which is owned by the Danish government.

by: William Powell

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New Danish permit for Baltic Pipe 'months away': ministry

Denmark's environment ministry, which revoked the construction permit for the Baltic Pipe project crossing its territory, does not expect a new licence to be issued for some time, a spokesman told NGW.

Two years after being awarded, the licence was revoked early June owing to environmental risks posed by construction of the pipeline.

Conceding that there were many unknowns, the ministry said: "At the moment our best guess is that it will take around six-eight months to get a new permit. Which again can be appealed."

The line is a joint project between the Danish state owned grid operator Energinet and the Polish state-owned grid operator Gaz-System. Neither had replied to NGW's request for information on the status of the project sent 24 hours previously.

The spokesperson continued: "My best guess is that the project is so far [advanced] that it will continue. And if it is necessary to do the work in other ways or find new routes for the pipeline this is also possible. How long extra time is needed to complete the work is not possible for me to say."

The coincidence of the cancellation of that licence, designed to bring 10bn m³/yr of Norwegian gas to Poland, and the completion of the first strand of Nord Stream 2, is notable. Poland is among the most vocal opponents of Nord Stream 2 and is backing Baltic Pipe to allow it to reject Russian gas. It has also been at the forefront, with Ukraine, to secure US sanctions on Nord Stream 2.

The Russian-led project however also suffered from Danish regulations as it was told unexpectedly that its original route, following Nord Stream 1, was not possible. It had to devise alternatives. The pipeline could have been operational a few years ago had the Danes not prohibited the original plan.