Nord Stream Presents Optimised Route in Bornholm Area
Sept. 2, 2008 | Zug | Nord Stream has introduced an optimised route around Bornholm. The so-called S-Route was developed and investigated following a request earlier this year by the Danish authorities to evaluate an alternative route south of Bornholm. The findings were compared with the previous northern route and the process yielded a decision in favour of the optimised S-Route.
The S-Route is the result of a careful assessment of many factors, such as safety in relation to ship traffic and environmental impact. It also accounts for earlier concerns from Sweden. In Germany, Nord Stream is closely cooperating with the responsible authorities and has discussed the possible consequences of the decision with them.
Avoiding known areas with dumped conventional and chemical munitions was a top priority in the route selection process. In order to evaluate potential contamination related to the remains of chemical warfare agents (CWA), approximately 100 soil samples were taken in Danish waters and tested in the laboratories of the Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI) and the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (VeriFin). Test results show no increased risk along the S-Route. Denmark’s National Environmental Research Institute (NERI) will compile the final report based on the test results of these labs.
The S-Route also proves advantageous in terms of minimising environmental impact since seabed intervention work would be reduced significantly in comparison to a route north of Bornholm. The route virtually avoids nature preserves, areas of dense ship traffic and fishing, as well as areas important for tourism.
On the technical side, the overall length of the Nord Stream Pipeline will accordingly be shorter and there will be fewer cable crossings, thereby reducing both initial investment and operating costs.
The Danish authorities that recommended a route south of Bornholm welcomed Nord Stream’s decision to follow their recommendation.
A detailed assessment of the S-Route will be included in the transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report. As part of the Espoo process, Nord Stream will submit its final draft shortly.