Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nord Stream Bid Will Come After Ecological Assessment

HELSINKI -- Applications for building the Russia-Germany Nord Stream gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea will be filed after the environmental impact assessment is finished next spring, a senior official at Nord Stream said Friday.

The participants confirmed last week that the project would enter service by the end of 2010, but the environmental impact assessment has taken longer than expected.

"We have the environmental impact evaluation ongoing and this will be finished during the spring," Nord Stream permitting manager Sebastian Sass said Friday in Helsinki. "After that we will submit the applications."

He said Nord Stream took additional investigation requests from the authorities very seriously, and added that the schedule for a start-up had not been changed.

Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva said Thursday after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov that Finland was not against the pipe plan, but wanted to study its impact on the environment. "If the result shows that it has environmental consequences, I am sure that it will impact our permission and the final decision process."

Sass said the tendering process relating to the building of the pipe would be finished as well during the upcoming spring.

The project is led by gas export monopoly Gazprom and involves German firms BASF and E.On. Last week the Dutch state pipeline operator Gasunie became the fourth partner in the 5 billion euro ($7.3 billion) project.