Baltic Pipe is an ambitious project with many challenges, but its advantages for both sides and the decisions already taken allow us to implement it in accordance with the plan. The final investment decision should be made by the end of the year, said Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark Ole Egberg Mikkelsen in an interview with the portal BiznesAlert.pl.
BiznesAlert.pl: At what stage of implementation is Baltic Pipe?
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark Ole Egberg Mikkelsen: We are still in the preparatory phase. We do not have a final investment decision yet, it should be taken by the end of this year. Investment planning, however, takes place and goes forward. At this stage, residents, farmers or other entities can submit their applications and comments …
And here are the voices of dissatisfied farmers in Denmark in connection with the route of the gas pipeline.
There is nothing strange in this, however. This is a normal process in which residents or farmers, through whose areas the investment is to take place, submit their comments. It’s an investment of hundreds kilometers, so there will always be such problems. Right now is the time to submit applications, comments, solve possible problems and move forward. The process is going on, but I do not see anything that could at this stage in any way interfere with the implementation of the project. We should listen to residents living near to the gas infrastructure. We already have experience in Denmark with existing gas pipelines.
When can we expect the final investment decision?
It should be completed by the end of this year, as I mentioned earlier. We need several approvals and decisions of transmission operators on the part of Gaz-System and Danish Energinet.dk and the Danish minister of energy. The project is large and hence complicated. Many decisions should be made, but everything is going according to the plan. Immediately after the final investment decision, the infrastructure contractor should be selected. I believe that it will be companies from Denmark and Poland, because they have experience in this area.
What economic benefits can Baltic Pipe give Denmark?
It is about two elements: the use of the current network and security of supply. Thanks to the Baltic Pipe, the use of our gas infrastructure will increase. What we observe in Denmark is the decline in gas consumption, among others through the increase in the share of RES. It translates into an increase in the cost of infrastructure maintenance, which we already have. The second important issue for us is the security of supply. The prospects for the European gas market show that thanks to Baltic Pipe, Poland and Denmark may become less dependent on the existing supply routes. It is also important from the point of view of implementation of the Energy Union provisions, which concern the diversification of supply routes and should be implemented, which will enable Baltic Pipe. We are pleased that the European Commission supports this project and that it is one of the key ones in Europe.
Can Denmark and Poland together develop the potential of offshore wind farms?
Denmark has great experiences in this area. We implement further projects that will bring us significant potential in the Baltic Sea. Offshore wind farms will provide 20 percent of the annual electricity demand. The wind conditions in Denmark are very good, and both countries are adjacent to each other in the Baltic, which creates a good platform for cooperation. The advantage of offshore wind farms is also the fact that despite the creation on the maritime territory of Denmark, they can supply energy to other countries, such as Sweden or Germany. If you want to invest in energy, also in offshore wind farms, then you have to be well connected. If the wind does not blow in Denmark, although it is rare, then thanks to the connection with the Nordic market, we can import energy from hydroelectric plants from Sweden. We are now developing a connection with Great Britain through the maritime cable, because it is the basis of the philosophy of harmonized energy markets. To be flexible, we need green energy.
Interview conducted by Bartłomiej Sawicki