Concerns remain over Nord Stream

July 6, 2009 at 1:34 PM

HELSINKI, Finland, July 6 (UPI) -- The Nord Stream natural gas pipeline received tacit approval from the Finnish government, though a regional consortium has asked for more environmental studies.

Nord Stream would travel along a dual route through the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea to Germany. Littoral states in Scandinavia complain about the potential environmental impact of pipeline construction, which is complicated by World War II munitions strewn about the Baltic Sea floor.

Nord Stream AG in June concluded a two-day meeting in Germany to vet public and shareholder comments on a transboundary environmental report submitted by the project consortium in March.

The Uusimaa Regional Environment Center, a group representing parties along the coast of the Gulf of Finland, called environmental studies conducted by the Nord Stream AG consortium "sufficient" but has requested more information, the New Europe weekly reports.

Paul Corcoran, the chief financial officer at Nord Stream AG, said construction should be completed in time for a 2011 launch date. For his part, Sebastian Sass, the head of European relations for the company, said his group would provide "necessary" clarifications after studying the Finnish complaints.

Nord Stream would ultimately transport more than 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas per year to European customers.

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