The Nord Stream 2 is a pipeline to transport natural gas into the European Union. It is expected to stretch over 1,230 kilometres through the Baltic Sea from the Russian to German coast running parallel to the existing Nord Stream system. The pipeline is projected to have the capacity to transport 55 bcm of natural gas per year. Since the Nord Stream 2 passes through the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, the permits to construct and operate the pipeline must be obtained from each of these five countries. Nord Stream 2 AG already obtained the permits required for the construction and operation of the pipeline system in Germany and Finland earlier this year. Swedish government approved the construction and operation the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in June 2018.

Denmark is the last country still to complete its national permit. According to the construction plans, the pipeline is expected to run through 139 kilometres of Danish waters. Nord Stream 2 AG, a project company established for planning, construction and subsequent operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, have submitted its national permit applications and respective EIA materials to the Danish Energy Agency, which manages the applications and issues the permits on behalf of the Danish State. In order to obtain the permit, a national Danish Environmental Impact Assessment is required. The aim of the EIA procedure is to evaluate the environmental impacts of a project. It is worth mentioning that the Danish Continental Shelf Act, amended on 1 January 2018, provides the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs the right to recommend, based on wide-ranging considerations, whether an application for infrastructure projects shall or shall not be further handled by the Danish Energy Agency. However, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s recommendation is pending since January 2018.

Thus, Nord Stream 2 AG has decided to explore alternative routes outside of Danish territorial waters and on 10 August, Nord Steam 2 submitted an application for construction of an alternative route north-west of Bornholm.