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Nord Stream plans new gas pipelines

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Nord Stream plans new gas pipelines
14:30 CEST+02:00
Gas pipeline firm Nord Stream will hold an information meeting on the Baltic island of Gotland on Monday to introduce a proposal to extend its controversial gas pipeline project.

Russian company OAO Gazprom is the majority shareholder in Nord Stream, an international consortium formed in 2005 to plan and construct a 1,224-kilometre natural gas pipeline along the Baltic Sea floor.

Now, Nord Stream wants to expand the project by adding one or two more pipelines.

The gas pipelines currently under construction will deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany via Sweden. The proposed extension would run from Russia to Germany, passing Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

Monday's meeting in Visby, Gotland will be open to the public and is part of a decision-making process where stakeholders have the opportunity to voice opinions. It is a requirement for being allowed to submit a construction application.

"We hope to begin putting the pipes down in 2016," said Nord Stream spokesman Lars O Grönstedt.

The Nord Stream project met with fierce protests when it was launched. According to US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks in 2011, Vladimir Putin, Russia's president at the time of the project launch, and other power brokers in Russia had no intention of listening to criticisms or protests.

In a report from the US embassy in Moscow, the EU coordinator with Russia's foreign ministry, Dmitri Polyanski, said back in 2007 that the pipeline would be built regardless of noisy protests from Poland, Estonia and Sweden.

"It can't be stopped. Not even by a big EU country like Poland," he said.

Sweden approved the Nord Stream project in November 2009. It was projected to supply 25 million European households with natural gas from Russia.

The most vociferous protests had to do with the project's potential environmental impact on sensitive marine environments along the Baltic Sea floor.

TT/The Local/nr

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