Photo: Credits to Palle Peter Skov. Source: Energinet

Baltic Pipe needs new environmental permit, process could take up to 8 months

Energinet and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency must make a new environmental impact assessment for the Baltic Pipe project, a process which could take up to 8 months of work, a spokesperson from the agency told Offshore Energy.

To remind, the Danish Environmental and Food Appeals Board ruled to repeal the permit for the onshore part of the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline which the Danish Environmental Protection Agency granted back in July 2019.

The board stated that the assessment did not sufficiently describe the measures taken to protect dormice, Nordic birch mice, and bats protected by the European Habitats Directive Annex 4.

“Naturally, we are not happy with the conclusions from the Appeal Board but we must take into consideration that they read the directives in a very strict way,” a spokesperson from the Environmental Protection Agency said.

According to the agency, an eight-week public hearing will take place as part of the process and all in all a very rough guess is about 7-8 months of work before receiving a new permit.

Energinet is currently preparing a temporary shutdown of construction activities, and will, in contact with authorities, clarify what consequences the ruling will have for the Baltic Pipe project.

“We have a 210 km long construction site across Denmark, and we cannot just jump out of the excavators and leave the construction sites. We have to shut down in a sound way, and therefore there will still be people working in several different places on the stretch,” said Marian Kaagh, deputy director and head of Energinet’s department for construction projects. 

“Understandably, we encounter a lot of questions about what it means for schedule, finances, compensation, and much more – not least questions from the many who add soil or are neighbors, and from the users of the upcoming gas pipeline. We are in close dialogue with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency about how we obtain the necessary permits and get clarification as soon as possible on how the work can continue. As soon as we can clearly state the consequences, we will do so.

The 274-kilometer Baltic Pipe project is a strategic infrastructure project between Poland’s GAZ-SYSTEM and the Danish Energinet.

The project will create a new corridor supplying gas from Norway to the markets in Poland, Denmark and also neighboring countries.

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