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11 Feb, 2010 07:33

Nord Stream awaits final approval before April construction start

This weeks meeting of Baltic nations has seen Russian PM Vladimir Putin emphasize Russia’s commitment to a cleaner greener Baltic sea, as well as final lobbying for a united energy future with the Nord Stream pipeline.

Step by step Russia is getting closer to gaining Finland’s final approval for Nord Stream construction to start.
Speaking at the Baltic Sea Action Summit where he emphasized Russia’s commitment to cleaning up the Baltic, Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin also underlined Nord Streams role in Europe’s energy security – providing cheaper and more plentiful gas than any alternative, in the face of rebounding demand.

“Russian and international experts forecast increasing demand for energy resources due to the inevitable growth of the global economy. Despite the fast development of new kinds of energy, nothing will substitute hydrocarbons in the next 15 to 20 years. Gas shipped to Europe via pipelines will always be cheaper than LNG.”

Russia has invested 100 million euro in Baltic sea environmental studies and preparations as part of its commitment to ensuring that Nord Stream is as environmentally friendly as possible.

After nine year of negotiations only Finland remains to give the go ahead before construction starts. Sebastian Sass, Head of the Nord Stream EU Representation says it could come this week.

“We hope that the last permit decision from Finland on Friday, possibly this week, we hope that will be positive and confirm the route that we have applied for. That would be the start of construction in april according to plan, and in fact we are at the moment in plan and in budget, which is quite extraordinary for a project of this size.”

All participants at the forum agreed that the Baltic Sea – which has divided nations for generations, and is littered with the debris of more than 200 years and two world wars – will unite them not only in their determination to clean it up, but also but also in their energy security.