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Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline offers 'alternative route' to Danish authorities

Highlights

Alternative route passes through Danish EEZ, not territorial waters

Made due to amendment to Continental Shelf Act in early 2018

First application still seen as 'the preferred route' for pipelines

London — Nord Stream 2 AG has handed in an application and an Environmental Impact Assessment report to the Danish Energy Agency for an alternative route for the 55 Bcm/year twin natural gas pipeline delivering Russian gas to Germany, the company said in a statement Friday

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The original application for the twin pipeline's route made back in April 2017 has not been withdrawn, and Nord Stream 2 continues to see this as "the preferred route" in Danish waters.

The alternative route has been applied for due to an amendment to the Continental Shelf Act on January 1 earlier this year, which allows the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to recommend whether an application for infrastructure projects shall or shall not be handled by the Danish Energy Agency.

"Based on the survey works, engineering and environmental assessments carried out in the last months, a viable route has been identified. This 175 km-long alternative, passing northwest of Bornholm, crosses the Danish EEZ only," the company said.

The current application for the "optimal route" is slated to pass through Danish territorial waters, with the pipelines having already received the national permits from "all other national jurisdictions through which the pipelines pass between Russia and Germany."

Nord Stream 2 has been a highly controversial subject in terms of increasing Europe's reliance on Russian gas, which currently stands around the 40% mark, and potentially bypassing Ukraine as a transit country, harming the country's revenues in the process.

Indeed, the EU released a press statement on Thursday stating that it will be in discussions with the US to allow more US LNG exports to come to Europe to "diversify and render its energy supply more secure" by eyeing regulation changes on the US side.

--Gary Hornby, gary.hornby@spglobal.com

--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@spglobal.com