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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Baltic Pipeline Builder to Consider New Route

The German-Russian consortium planning the Nord Stream gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea said Wednesday that it would consider altering the route after countries around the sea expressed concern over the environment.

Some Baltic Sea states say the $6.57 billion pipeline to ship natural gas from Russia to Germany could stir up poisonous material on the seabed and disturb unexploded ordnance left there from World War II.

"Nord Stream has decided to launch additional studies to investigate areas where the route of the ... pipeline through the Baltic Sea can be further optimized in a reasonable way to minimize environmental impacts," the consortium said.

The consortium is majority-owned by Gazprom. It says the pipeline will provide Russia with an alternative to overland export routes and thereby help protect European customers from supply disruptions.

The consortium said in a statement that the sections of the route to be reviewed were in the Gulf of Finland off Estonia's coast, in Swedish waters south of Gotland and near the Danish island of Bornholm. It said the decision to review the route "reconfirms Nord Stream's commitment to conservation of the Baltic Sea."