Finland: Nord Stream AG Invests in Protection of Baltic Sea
The protection of the Baltic Sea will be further expanded: this spring, Nord Stream AG intends to establish an international nature conservation foundation for the Baltic Sea.
This is a further outcome of the agreement reached in 2010 between Nord Stream AG and the environmental associations WWF and BUND.
“We are very much aware of the great responsibility for this unique and sensitive ecosystem” says Dr. Dirk von Ameln, Permitting Director of Nord Stream AG: “the international foundation is therefore a logical and consistent addition to the environmental activities of Nord Stream that was and is being realised in connection with the construction and operation of the pipeline.”
In the past years, Nord Stream has invested more than 100 million euros in the most comprehensive ecological studies to-date for one single infrastructure project in the Baltic Sea and in the project planning in order to assess potential negative effects and to reduce them to a minimum. In the Exclusive Economic Zones of the different states of the Baltic Sea through which the pipeline passes no legal obligation for the compensation of potential environmental impacts exists. For this reason, Nord Stream has reached a respective agreement with the environmental association in order to realise compensation measures. The foundation will be provided with the necessary financial means so that it can identify and realise suitable measures aimed at protecting the environment in the long-term.
The foundation is to be founded in 2012. Its headquarters is planned to be in Finland. Nord Stream will provide the foundation with a nominal capital of 10 million euros. Furthermore, 15 million euros will be allocated to the foundation as earmarked capital implementing nature conservation measures and nutrient reduction in the Baltic Sea area.
The foundation will be managed by a steering committee and a board of trustees will serve as supervisory body. The concrete organization and nomination of the bodies is currently being prepared. It is, however, planned to follow the example of the already established Conservation Foundation German Baltic Sea by including environmental associations as well as governmental authorities and supranational organizations of the riparian states of the Baltic Sea in the governing bodies of the foundation.
Nord Stream is a natural gas pipeline which links Russia and the European Union through the Baltic Sea. The European Union’s annual natural gas imports in 2009 were approximately 312 billion cubic metres (bcm) and are projected to increase to over 523 bcm by 2030. By then, the EU will need additional gas imports of 211 bcm per year . Nord Stream will meet more than a quarter of this additional gas import requirement by connecting the European gas pipeline network to some of the world’s largest gas reserves. The project will be an important contribution to long-term security of supply and a milestone of the energy partnership between the European Union and Russia.
The first of Nord Stream’s two parallel pipelines became operational in November 2011. Each line is approximately 1,220 kilometres long, providing a transport capacity of some 27.5 bcm per year. More than 85 percent of Line 2 has also already been laid. Full capacity of about 55 bcm per year will be reached when the second line goes on stream in late 2012.
Source: Nord Stream, March 12, 2012