Finnish environmetal authorities have approved construction of the Nord Stream gas pipeline through Finland’s waters.
Finland’s government had already approved the venture along with the other affected countries, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Russia, but the local environment agency also had to give the thumbs up.
The project involves building a 1,220 kilometre pipeline to deliver gas to western Europe from Russia, by-passing Eastern Europe.
When finished, the pipeline will carry some 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year.
The company, Nord Stream AG plans to begin construction this year and the pumps should be turned on in 2011.
However ecologists say they will challenge the plans in court claiming the pipeline will cause too much environmental damage.