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Baltic Pipe set to continue in selected areas in Denmark

Published 19.6.2021 08.01
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has informed Energinet that The Baltic Pipe Project can resume construction works in specific parts of the 210-kilometer across Denmark. Energinet expects that the overall project will be delayed 3 months, but that it will be able to deliver a large part of the agreed upon capacity by October 2022 working towards delivering full capacity by the end of 2022.
Following the ruling on 31 May 2021 from The Danish Environmental and Food Appeals Board to repeal the environmental permit for the Baltic Pipe Project, Energinet enacted a temporary shutdown of construction. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has now stated that it has no objections to Energinets plans to resume construction on parts of the project.

Energinet can resume construction on the landline across the island of Zealand, the eastern part of the island of Funen and the part of the landline from the danish west coast to the Nybro Gas Terminal. Construction can also be resumed on the Nybro Terminal itself and on the new compressor station at Everdrup on Zealand. 

Construction on the pipeline on the western part of Funen and the eastern part of mainland Jutland from the existing compressor station in Egtved to the Little Belt strait will be stopped until a new environmental permit has been issued. Construction on the electrical supply to the compressor station at Everdrup will also have to wait for a new permit.

Overall construction can thus resume on a majority of the 210-kilometer landline across Denmark. But the ruling from The Danish Environmental and Food Appeals Board means that construction on the western part of Funen and eastern part of Jutland will be postponed until 2022.

It is Energinet’s assessment that the Baltic Pipe Project faces an overall delay of 3 months. In 2018 Energinet and its polish partners GAZ-System agreed that Baltic Pipe were to be operational by October 2022 and able to transport 10 BCM. Baltic Pipe will deliver Norwegian natural gas to Polish consumers and lessen Polish dependance on Russian natural gas.

- We are working very hard to finish as much as possible to be able to deliver a large part of the agreed upon capacity by the original deadline, says Marian Kaagh, Vice President of projects in Energinet.

She explains that the new parts of Baltic Pipe combined with the existing danish transmission system will enable Energinet to transport gas to Poland from October 2022, while Energinet works towards full capacity by the end of 2022.

The statement from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency means that construction works can be resumed and that contractors will man their machines again in the western part of Jutland, eastern Funen, and Zealand.

Energinet is particularly pleased that a large part of the construction can be completed as planned and that additional inconvenience for landowners can be avoided.

- Baltic Pipe is an important project for Denmark and for energy supply in Central- and Eastern Europe, but we are fully aware that most landowners would rather that the project did not affect them. It is very important for me, that we can finish as planned in several locations. On the other hand, I am very sorry that some landowners are facing delays. We will be contacting the landowners to explain how the recent developments will affect work on their land, says Marian Kaagh.

Energinet is working to clarify the economic consequences of the temporary shut down and the delay on parts of the project.

- We need to thoroughly calculate all of the consequences. When we have n full overview, we will share this with the public, says Marian Kaagh.
 
ABOUT BALTIC PIPE AND THE REPEAL

The decision by The Danish Environmental and Food Appeals Board covers the so-called Annex 4 species – vulnerable and protected animals that are protected by the European Habitats Directive. For Baltic Pipe the species in question are dormice, Nordic birch mice, bats, Desmoulin's whorl snail and Narrow-mouthed Whorl Snail.

Timeline

12 July 2019:

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency grants The Baltic Pipe project an environmental permit based on a 520-page environmental impact assessment report, that among many other things describes the protection of the Annex 4 species. It is a condition in the permit that additional surveys will be conducted and that remedial actions put in place to secure breeding and feeding grounds for the protected animals – a standard practices in environmental impact assessments.

August 2019:

Several complaints over the environmental permit are submitted. The appeals board decides to process with four complaints. The complaints are not given stopping effect.

September 2020:

The appeals board receives a report from the National Center on Environment and Energy at Aarhus University (DCE) on protection of Annex 4 speicies. Afterwards the appeals board adopts a stricter practice on protection of Annex 4 species.

31 May 2021:

The Danish Environmental and Food Appeals Board repeals the permit given by The Danish Environmental Protection Agency almost two years prior. According to the appeals board, all remedial actions should have been taken prior to the permit was issued. The appeals board have not considered if any of the remedial measures taken after the permit was issued will protect the breeding and feeding grounds of the annex 4 species.