Nord Stream is a gas pipeline to link Russia and the European Union via the Baltic Sea. It will carry natural gas to supply both businesses and households. The new pipeline will be an important factor of energy security in Europe.
It’s an offshore pipeline from Portovaya Bay near Vyborg, Russia to the coast of Germany near Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
The specialists of environment have announced that the project is too superficial and hasn’t bargained for the sensitivity of the Baltic Sea.
There are many questions raised about the mines that could still be/are in the bottom of the sea, about it’s hidden dangers, possible leaks and so on.
Deploying the pipe to the sea changes normal activity of it’s own ecosystem – mud will raise up, the water will be turbid, some chemical compounds under it might end up in all kinds of sea food. Toxic food could be on our tables/shops some day.
Land-based alternatives On 11 January 2007, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Finland made a statement on the environmental impact assessment programme of the Russia-Germany natural gas pipeline, in which it mentioned that alternative routes via the Baltic states, Kaliningrad and/or Poland might theoretically be shorter than the route across the Baltic Sea, would be easier to flexibly increase the capacity of the pipeline, and might have better financial results.There were also calls from Sweden to consider rerouting the pipeline onto dry land.Poland had proposed the construction of a second line of the Yamal–Europe pipeline, as well as the Amber pipeline through the Baltic states and Poland as land-based alternatives to the offshore pipeline.
The Amber project foresees laying a natural gas pipeline across the Tver, Novgorod and Pskov oblasts in Russia and then through Latvia and Lithuania to Poland, where it would be re-connected to the Yamal–Europe pipeline.Latvia has proposed using its underground gas storage facilities if the onshore route were to be used.Proponents have claimed that the Amber pipeline would cost half as much as an underwater pipeline, would be shorter, and would have less environmental impact.Critics of this proposal say that in this case it would be more expensive for the suppliers over the long-term perspective, because the main aim of the project is to reduce transit costs. Nord Stream AG has responded that the Baltic Sea would be the only route for the pipeline and it will not consider an overland alternative.
Russian and German officials claim that the new pipeline would eventually lead to economic savings, despite the high investment cost. Two reasons given were the elimination of transit fees (as transit countries would be bypassed), and that an offshore pipeline has a higher operating pressure which leads to lower operating costs (by eliminating the necessity for expensive midway compressor stations.Observers speak of one billion dollars annually which would be lost by transit countries but saved by countries connected to the pipeline.Some have queried whether any savings will be gained, as the maintenance costs of a submarine pipeline are significantly higher than for an overland route. In 1998, former Gazprom chairman Rem Vyakhirev claimed that the project was economically unfeasible. Economic aspects
This estimation may not be valid anymore as the price of natural gas and construction costs have changed since then. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has stated that Europe must decide whether it needs this pipeline or not. If not, Russia will build LNG plants instead of the pipeline, which according to Mr Putin will be more expensive for European countries.