To construct the pipeline on the continental shelf in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Nord Stream 2 needed a permit from the government. This permit was granted in the summer of 2018.
The minimum requirements for the construction permit application on the continental shelf are route coordinates and information on potential negative environmental impacts and how they would be prevented and mitigated. Thus, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone was not required. Nevertheless, an environmental study was conducted as required by European and international law (the EIA Directive and Espoo Convention, respectively). This study described the main characteristics and technical solutions of the project, with a comprehensive assessment of potential environmental impacts and their mitigation.
The application for construction and operation of the pipeline system in the Swedish EEZ was filed in September 2016. It was reviewed by the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation as well as specific stakeholder authorities. During the consultation phase Swedish authorities, citizens and other interested parties had the opportunity to state their opinions on the application and the environmental study.
Stakeholder meetings, along with public and administrative referral phases at the national and international level continued until fall 2017. Several supplements were submitted in response to statements and questions raised by stakeholders during this referral phase. The process concluded on June 7, 2018, when the government granted the construction and operation permit for the Swedish section of the route.
In parallel to the Swedish permitting process, Sweden also carried out the EIA process in the transboundary context according to the UNECE Convention (or “Espoo Convention”).