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ENERGY

Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline hit by ‘leaks’ in Swedish and Danish zones

Two leaks have been identified on the Nord Stream 1 Russia-to-Europe gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, hours after a similar incident on its twin pipeline, Scandinavian authorities said on Tuesday.

Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline hit by 'leaks' in Swedish and Danish zones
Nord stream 1 pipeline facility in Lubmin, northeastern Germany. Leaks in the pipeline were reported in Danish and Swedish Baltic Sea zones on September 27th. File Photo: ODD ANDERSEN / AFP

“Authorities have now been informed that there have been another two leaks on Nord Stream 1, which likewise is not in operation but contains gas,” the Danish climate and energy minister Dan Jørgensen told news wire AFP in a statement.

Following the leaks, Jørgensen said the authorities called for “higher levels of preparedness in the electricity and gas sector” in the country.

One of the leaks on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline occurred in the Danish economic zone and the other in the Swedish economic zone.

Like the leak on Nord Stream 2 the day before, the incidents are “subject to safety measures”.

The Nord Stream 1 leaks were first spotted Monday evening, an hour after a drop in pressure was reported in Nord Stream 2, according to the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA).

“Around 8pm we received a report from a passing ship saying they saw something on their radar a little further north of the island of Bornholm,” Fredrik Stromback, spokesman for the SMA, told AFP.

As a result of the leaks, navigational warnings have also been issued for a distance of five nautical miles and a flight height of 1,000 metres.

“The incidents on the two pipelines have no impact on the supply to Denmark,” Jørgensen said.

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BREAKING

Sweden’s electricity price subsidy now postponed until February

Households and businesses will not receive any compensation for high power prices over the last year until February at the earliest, Swedish government ministers confirmed at a press conference on Wednesday.

Sweden's electricity price subsidy now postponed until February

During the election campaign, the Moderate, Christian Democrat, and Liberal parties made a common election promise to have a system of compensation “in place” by November 1st. 

“If we win the election and Sweden receives a new government, we are are going to make sure that high-cost protection against the current extreme electricity prices for households and businesses will be in place by November 1st,” they wrote. “Household finances will be rescued in good time for Christmas. That is a common election promise.” 

But at a press conference on Wednesday morning, social insurance minister Anna Tenje said that payments would not begin until well into 2023. 

“The payments will begin in February if nothing unexpected happens,” she said. 

For businesses, the wait could be even longer. 

“The first step will be payments to households. The second stage will be payments to businesses, and that question is still being decided,” energy and business minister Ebba Busch said. 

At a press conference, Magdalena Andersson, leader of the opposition Social Democrats accused Sweden’s prime minister of “lying to the Swedish people right in the face”. 

“When it comes to high cost protection for electricity, he was very clear ahead of the election that it would be in place on November 1st,” she said. “He couldn’t explain how, but it was a clear promise to the people of Sweden and that has now been broken. It’s not as if anything has happened to explain why he couldn’t live up to the promise.” 

“Don’t make lofty promises that aren’t trustworthy. That’s what I said during the election campaign.” she added.

The Social Democrats’ energy spokesperson, Fredrik Olovsson, said that the government should give a new instruction to the country’s grid operator Svenska Kraftnät, so that even people in northern Sweden could receive the subsidy. 

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