20.11.2019

GAZ-SYSTEM: Baltic Pipe offshore gas pipeline obtains next environmental decision

On 25th November 2019, the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Szczecin issued the environmental decision for the offshore gas pipeline to be laid in the Polish waters of the Baltic Sea as part of the Baltic Pipe project. The pipeline landfall will be located in the area of Niechorze and Pogorzelica in Rewal commune. Issuing the decision allows continuation of the permitting process in Poland and further implementation of the project in line with schedule.

“This decision is yet another step for Poland to become independent as regards gas supplies. The permitting process for the entire Baltic Pipe Project has almost finished. At the same time, the process of choosing a contractor to execute construction works is ongoing. Gaz-System will complete it at the beginning of next year” Piotr Naimski, Governmental Plenipotentiary for Critical Energy Infrastructure, said.

For the purpose of the environmental decision, Environmental Impact Assessment report had been prepared to account for the results of months-long detailed environmental, geophysical and geotechnical surveys. The choice of the offshore gas pipeline landfall location in the area of Niechorze and Pogorzelica communicated in the decision had been recommended by Ramboll Danmark A/S responsible for the pipeline design. The surveys, however, were carried out not only for that location but also for an alternative variant in Rogowo.

‘The process of obtaining administrative permits for the Baltic Pipe project progresses as planned. Today, the environmental decision for the offshore part of Baltic Pipe in Poland has been issued, which brings us significantly closer to the beginning of the construction stage. Now we need to obtain the location decision and the construction permit for the gas pipeline to be laid in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea,’ Tomasz Stępień, President of GAZ-SYSTEM, said.

The permit issued by the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Szczecin comprises three elements:
1)    line valve station to be constructed in Niechorze and Pogorzelica area (Rewal commune),
2)    last section of the offshore gas pipeline in the vicinity of Niechorze and Pogorzelica, to be laid in the underground microtunnel, thanks to which the pipeline will not interfere with the beach and dunes on the Polish shore,
3)    an approximately 56-kilometre long section of the gas pipeline laid on the Baltic seabed in the Polish marine areas.
 
Thus, the new environmental decision indicates the Niechorze–Pogorzelica offshore gas pipeline landfall design variant as the one to be implemented under the Baltic Pipe project.

Due to the international character of the project, a cross-border environmental impact assessment, showing to what extent activities performed in each country can affect the neighbouring countries, has been prepared. The project thus underwent both domestic and international consultations (resulting from the Espoo convention) which finished this October. A series of open information meetings that could be attended by all interested parties were also held.

The permit obtained in Poland is the second of the three environmental permits necessary to lay the gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea. The first decision, covering Denmark’s marine areas, was issued to GAZ-SYSTEM on 25 October 2019. The permit for the section to be laid in the marine areas of Sweden, in turn, is expected to be issued in the upcoming months.


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Baltic Pipe is a strategic project aimed at creating a new natural gas supply corridor from Norway to the Danish and Polish markets and to end-users in the neighbouring countries. Implementation of this investment will strengthen energy security of Poland as well as Central and Eastern Europe and contribute to increased competitiveness of the Polish gas market. The pipeline will enable transport of 10 billion m3 of natural gas per year to Poland and 3 billion m3 per year from Poland to Denmark. The construction stage is anticipated to start in 2020 to enable import of natural gas from gas fields in the Norwegian Continental Shelf beginning October 2022.

The project is being implemented in close cooperation between GAZ-SYSTEM (the Polish gas transmission system operator) and Energinet (the Danish operator of gas and energy transmission systems). More information about Baltic Pipe can be found at: www.baltic-pipe.eu/pl/

GAZ-SYSTEM plays a strategic role in the Polish economy. We are responsible for natural gas transmission and operate the most important gas pipelines in Poland. As part of the 2015-2025 investment programme, GAZ-SYSTEM plans to build over 2000 km of new gas pipelines in western, southern and eastern parts of Poland. Further development of the national transmission network, including the construction of new gas pipelines making part of the North-South Gas Corridor, as well as the construction of interconnections with the neighbouring countries, will strengthen Poland’s energy security and make an important contribution to the development of the European transmission system.

The Company is implementing one of the most important infrastructural projects in Poland – the Baltic Pipe project, which consists in the construction of a bidirectional offshore gas pipeline connecting Poland and Denmark and the expansion of the local transmission network.

GAZ-SYSTEM also owns Polskie LNG, the operator of the President Lech Kaczyński's LNG Terminal in Świnoujście.

 


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