Project Baltic Pipe hits mice and bats
Baltic Pipe Project, an EU strategic infrastructure project led by Danish and Polish companies Energinet and Gaz-System to build a gas pipeline from the Norwegian part of the North Sea to Denmark and Poland, has encountered a problem in Denmark due to environmental concerns.
In 2019, the project received an environmental permit from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency to build the gas pipeline on land through Denmark. However, on May 31, 2021, the country’s Environment and Food Appeal Board decided to revoke the permit.
The Danish Environment and Food Appeals Commission has revoked the permit for the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline on land.
According to the appeal committee, shared by Danish transport operator Energinet, the license from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency did not sufficiently describe the measures taken to protect dormice, northern birch mice and bats, which are protected by Annex 4 of the European Habitats Directive, during the construction of the 210 kilometer long pipeline through Denmark.
Marian Kaagh, Energet’s vice president of projects said: “We are surprised by the decision of the appeal board. When we received the permit in 2019, it was made clear that we had to develop several corrective measures to ensure good living conditions for dormice, mice and northern birch bats, which live in some of the areas that Baltic will pass through. Pipe.
“Since then, we have worked and implemented these measures, to protect the animals. The appeal board decided that all of these measures should have been described in more detail before the permit was granted.”
In addition, Energinet said the appeal board found that the permit remedial measures were not sufficient to keep the affected breeding and foraging areas at the same level as before the construction work.
“Energinet will now – in close contact with the authorities – clarify the consequences that the decision will have for the Baltic Sea pipeline project. Energinet is currently preparing a plan for a temporary halt to construction activities until the required permit is in place, ”Energinet mentioned.
“The appeal board revoked the permit and referred it to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency for review. We will now examine in depth the consequences this has for the Baltic Sea pipeline project and in particular the construction in places where the protected species of Annex 4 live.
“Baltic Pipe is a major infrastructure project that spans the whole of Denmark. It is impossible not to affect the areas in which we work, but we are fully committed to minimizing the impact on people and nature, and ensuring good conditions for protected species during and after the construction of Baltic Pipe ” , Kaagh said.
Last month, the Polish gas transport company Gaz-System, a partner in the Baltic Pipe project, said preparations were underway for the start of pipe-laying work on the Baltic Pipe project.
“During the summer, three specialized offshore units will begin to lay some 274 km of gas pipeline on the seabed of the Baltic Sea,” the company said at the time.