Permitting Process in Denmark
Permit requirements in Denmark
Permits for construction and operation of pipelines for transportation of hydrocarbons produced outside Danish territory, but located in Danish territorial waters and on the Danish Continental Shelf are required, pursuant to the Continental Shelf Act, the Danish State’s sovereignty over its territorial waters, and Administrative Order on Pipeline Installations.
Applications for such permits must be submitted to the Danish Energy Agency, which manages the applications and issues the permits on behalf of the Danish State.
EIA Procedure in Denmark
A national Danish Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is required for Nord Stream 2. An EIA report must as a minimum contain the information listed in the Offshore EIA Administrative Order, including a description of the factors likely to be significantly affected by the project, both inside and outside of Danish territory.
The aim of the EIA procedure is to evaluate the environmental impacts of a project, to ensure that consistent information on the impacts is available during planning and decision-making and to provide the public with information and the opportunity to participate in the process.
The EIA report describes the main characteristics and technical solutions of the project with a comprehensive assessment of impacts. The report includes assessments of transboundary impacts from the project in Denmark to neighboring national jurisdictions. In addition, the EIA includes measures to prevent and mitigate potential adverse environmental impacts.
Initial consultation phase (2013-2016)
The consultation period for the Nord Stream 2 project was initiated in 2013 when a Project Information Document (PID) was submitted to both national and international authorities (through the coordinating authority under the Espoo Convention), NGOs and other stakeholders. During the public hearing period, statements from various authorities, citizens and non-governmental organizations were requested and public meetings were held.
Based on the opinions and statements received, the coordinating authority issued its statement on the EIA program. This first phase of the EIA procedure was completed in June 2013.
Based on the feedback received during this initial consultation process, Nord Stream 2 carried out environmental investigations and assessments in order to establish national EIAs and the Espoo documentation. Through autumn 2015 and summer 2016 various meetings were held with stakeholders pertaining to specific questions.
First application filed in 2017
Nord Stream 2 submitted the first EIA and a construction permit application for the route through the Danish territorial waters to the Danish Energy Agency in April 2017. The first application was withdrawn in June 2019, due to an amendment of the Continental Shelf Act that took effect on 1 January 2018. The amendment provides the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs the right to recommend, based on wide-ranging considerations, whether an application for infrastructure projects, such as gas transmission pipelines traversing territorial waters shall or shall not be further handled by the Danish Energy Agency.
Meanwhile, Nord Stream 2 AG explored alternative routes outside of Danish territorial waters.
Two additional applications filed for routes in EEZ (2018 & 2019)
Based on the survey works, engineering and environmental assessments carried out, a viable alternative route was identified outside Danish territorial waters only passing through the Danish exclusive economic zone north-west of Bornholm. In August 2018, Nord Stream 2 submitted an application for construction together with an EIA for the alternative route north-west of Bornholm (North-Western Route).
Denmark and Poland have since then resolved a long-standing border dispute over an area located south-east of Bornholm, making it available for Nord Stream 2 and other infrastructure projects. An application for construction and an EIA for the alternative route south-east of Bornholm was thus filed in April 2019 (South-Eastern Route).
Permit granted for South-Eastern Route in October 2019
The Danish Energy Agency granted Nord Stream 2 a construction permit for the South-Eastern Route on October 30, 2019. The approved route stretches 147 kilometers in the Danish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).