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Transboundary Environmental Report for Nord Stream Pipeline Confirmed

Next round of public participation to start in March 2009

Feb. 13, 2009 | Zug | The transboundary environmental report (Espoo Report) for the Nord Stream gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea will be ready for public participation in early March 2009. Until then, the Nord Stream consortium will incorporate all final comments and remarks. This was confirmed at an international consultation meeting in Copenhagen today with officials from the nine Baltic littoral countries.

According to the United Nations Espoo Convention, countries under whose jurisdiction a proposed activity is envisaged to take place must inform their neighbouring countries about potential transboundary environmental impacts. For this purpose, Nord Stream as the project developer had provided the countries with an English version of its Espoo Report documents.

In Copenhagen it was confirmed that Nord Stream will submit this report in the nine languages of the Baltic Sea states by the beginning of March. The authorities will then make the transboundary environmental report available for public participation in line with the national legislation in each country.

“The international consultations for one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects have provided valuable experience for Nord Stream as the developer and for national authorities,” says Dirk von Ameln, Nord Stream’s Permitting Director. “We had intensive discussions about the methodologies, the structures and the contents of the documents. It has been a real challenge to create a report which meets the different expectations of different countries. But thanks to the constructive cooperation of all the countries we have come to a solution.”

“The Nord Stream consortium has spent more than 100 million Euros on environmental impact studies and environmental planning to ensure that the design and routing of the pipeline through the Baltic Sea will be environmentally sound and safe. The start of public participation on our Espoo Report will mark an important milestone for Nord Stream, and confirms that we are on schedule to start transporting gas from Russia to Europe in 2011,” says Dirk von Ameln.

National permits to construct and operate the pipeline are required from the countries through which the Nord Stream pipeline will pass: Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. These countries will involve the other Baltic Sea countries on the potential transboundary impacts as part of the Espoo process. In the five countries it is expected that the public participation will cover both the Espoo Report on potential transboundary environmental impacts and the national Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) submitted by Nord Stream as part of the consortium’s applications for national permits.

Nord Stream’s Espoo Report follows intensive dialogue with authorities throughout the Baltic region to ensure that the pipeline is safe and environmentally sound in line with all national and international requirements. This international consultation process started in spring 2006 and as of today 15 meetings with officials from the nine Baltic littoral countries have been held.

Nord Stream will eventually be able to supply 55 bcm of natural gas a year, the equivalent of 25% of the additional imported gas that Europe is expected to require due to increased demand and depleting resources in the North Sea.

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