Denmark resumes construction of Baltic Sea gas pipeline from Norway to Poland

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By AFP  with Euronews
Construction work where the gas pipeline is due to come ashore in West Jutland, Denmark.
Construction work where the gas pipeline is due to come ashore in West Jutland, Denmark.   -   Copyright  John Randeris / Ritzau Scanpix via AP

Denmark has authorised the construction of a new pipeline between Norway and Poland to reduce Warsaw's dependence on Russian gas.

The "Baltic Pipe" project aims to ensure that Poland receives supplies of Norwegian gas through the Baltic Sea. The pipeline is expected to have an annual transport capacity of 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas.

The Danish energy infrastructure manager Energinet confirmed on Tuesday that a new environmental permit had been granted and construction could resume.

An original permit for the undersea gas pipeline was rejected by authorities last year due to environmental concerns.

"Energinet can start construction work on the parts of the project in East Jutland and on West Funen that have been on hiatus since May 2021," Energinet said in a statement.

Concerns had been raised about the impact of the 210-kilometre Danish pipeline on protected animal species.

"We are very busy taking into account nature and wildlife in connection with the construction of the Baltic Pipe," said the main project manager, Søren Juul Larsen.

"I am glad that we have received an environmental permit that thoroughly describes the considerations we will take into account, among other things, the protected animal species in the areas we pass through."

Energinet expects the pipeline to be partially commissioned from October, and fully operational by 1 January 2023.

The EU has provided €215 million in funding for the Baltic Pipe Project, which will also allow Poland to supply gas to the Danish market.

Poland had announced in 2019 that it would not extend its contract with Russian giant Gazprom beyond 2022, which covered two-thirds of its gas consumption.

Last week, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Germany suspended the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which connects its territory to Russia via the Baltic Sea.