GAS Norwegian Corridor 11 April, 2019 12:00 pm   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Baltic Pipe: Environment impact assessment reports filed

Gaz-System has submitted the Environmental Impact Assessment reports for the investment in all three countries the territorial seas of which the offshore gas pipeline on the Baltic Sea bed will go through. It happened, according to the schedule, on 28 March 2019 in Poland, on 19 March 2019 in Sweden and on 25 January 2019 in Denmark. The designers proposed many environmentally friendly solutions – for instance, trenchless horizontal drilling. 
The Environmental Impact Assessment report for the Polish part of the project was submitted to the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Szczecin. In Sweden and Denmark, on the other hand, the documents constituting parts of the applications for construction permits, were submitted to the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation and to the Danish Energy Agency, respectively.

The reports contain the results of the comprehensive environmental survey campaign conducted along all the considered variants of the offshore gas pipeline route. The surveys, lasting over a year, allowed developing the project impact assessments for the key environment elements, including nature, local communities and tourism. The research was carried out with regard to the periods of the gas pipeline construction and operation.

– Care for environment is the basis of our actions. We have modified the design assumptions in many places. One of the key modifications was, for example, choosing a trenchless method for constructing the landfall at the place where the gas pipeline changes over from offshore to onshore, so that on the coast of Poland it will go through a microtunnel under the beach and sand dunes – Tomasz Stępień, President of the Management Board at Gaz-System, said. – Thanks to that, the impact on the coastline, inhabitants or tourism will be mitigated as much as possible – he added.

Detailed environmental, geophysical and geotechnical surveys which have been carried out also allowed developing the transboundary assessment of the project environmental impact, showing to what extent activities performed in each country can affect neighbouring countries. Everyone who is interested in the documentation or in filing comments and requests may participate actively in consultations through the medium of the authorities that the reports were submitted to. Information regarding the impact of the investment can also be found on the project website.

The works within the framework of the onshore part of the Baltic Pipe project executed by Gaz-System in the territory of Poland are also at an advanced stage. The onshore part of the investment has already obtained the first environmental decision. It was issued by the Regional Director for Environmental Protection in Gorzów Wielkopolski for the Goleniów-Lwówek gas pipeline.

Independently of the so-called environmental procedures, the tender processes aimed at selecting the companies ready to perform contracts for the offshore gas pipeline are being executed in line with the schedule. Detailed analytical and design engineering works, thanks to which the construction of the offshore part will kick off in 2020 and finish in 2022, are also ongoing.

Project details

Baltic Pipe is a strategic infrastructure project aimed at creating a new gas supply corridor in the European market. For the first time in history it will allow gas transmission directly from gas fields in Norway to the Danish and Polish markets as well as to recipients in neighbouring countries.

The project objectives include increasing gas supply diversification, gas market integration and ensuring energy security for Denmark, Poland and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Baltic Sea region.

The project comprises five main components:

  1. The offshore gas pipeline on the North Sea bed connecting the transmission systems of Norway and Denmark;
  2. Expansion of the Danish gas transmission system;
  3. The gas compressor station located in eastern Denmark;
  4. The gas pipeline on the Baltic Sea bed between the Danish and Polish gas transmission systems;
  5. Expansion of the Polish gas transmission system.