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Public Referral on Nord Stream Ends in Sweden

Important milestone achieved in the permitting process

Aug. 21, 2009 | Zug | The public referral period in Sweden ends today. In total, about 60 institutions will file their final comments today, among them authorities and NGOs who have been invited by the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications to submit their opinions on the project application. The closing of public referral means that the Swedish government can now start preparing a decision on Nord Stream’s permit application.

“The end of the public referral period is an important milestone in our project”, said Lars O. Grönstedt, Nord Stream’s Senior Management Advisor in Sweden. “The comments will now be made available to Nord Stream to answer upon. We are planning to address them within the next month and then hand over the necessary additional information to the Ministry of Enterprise. Should there be any outstanding issues, we are confident we can solve them this autumn. We have noticed, however, that several of the authorities’ previously raised concerns have been addressed and clarified in the additional documentation submitted by Nord Stream earlier this year.”

The Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications had extended public referral after Nord Stream filed supplementary documentation on alternative routings – as requested by the Swedish authorities – on 5 June. This extension allowed all referral bodies to fully review the additional submitted information.

The project application, including the Environmental Impact Assessment, was made available during the referral process, in which the public had the opportunity to participate. The objective of the referral process was thus to assess the environmental effects of the project and to ensure that its environmental impact was taken into account during planning, construction and operation of the Nord Stream pipeline. The objective is to build the pipeline based on an optimised routing with all environmental, economic and social aspects taken into account.

The construction of the 1,220 km long pipeline is scheduled to start in early 2010. Nord Stream will eventually be able to supply 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year. The CO2 emissions of natural gas are the lowest of any fossil fuel, even 50 percent less than coal.

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