Selecting the Route in Russia
Studying the northern and southern corridors
Comprehensive surveys are the cornerstone of large-scale international infrastructure projects. There have been three stages of research work for the Nord Stream 2 project, which began in 2012:
Stage I - Evaluation of the Corridor to the North of St. Petersburg
A desk study was carried out to evaluate the corridor to the north of St. Petersburg along the route of the Nord Stream’s supply pipeline. The study concluded that it would not be technically feasible to lay new infrastructure alongside the existing pipelines.
- Urban development along the banks of the Neva is very dense and there is not enough space for the new pipeline and the backup and support infrastructure.
- It would not be possible to adhere to Russian legislative requirements on the minimum safe distance away from inhabited localities.
- Building a second compressor station alongside the existing Portovaya facilities would double the burden on the environment in this area.
- The supply gas pipeline for Nord Stream 2 will be built in accordance with Gazprom’s plans to bring more gas to the Kingisepp district under agreement between Gazprom and the Leningrad region authorities.
The Russian government approved the territorial planning scheme that envisages the expansion of the Russian Unified Gas Supply System in order to supply the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. According to the scheme, the supply pipeline will pass through the Kingisepp district.
Stage II - Choosing a Landfall on the Southern Coast of the Gulf of Finland
The entire Gulf of Finland shoreline to the south and west of St. Petersburg to the border with Estonia has been studied in detail, taking into account many technical, environmental and social constraints.
Only two landfall options were deemed appropriate, both within the Kingisepp district, because of heavy urbanisation and industrial development of the rest of the shoreline.
- The area to the south of St. Petersburg features both military and industrial infrastructure, including:
- the Baltic Fleet exclusion zone;
- St. Petersburg flood defences;
- the Leningrad nuclear power plant, with its associated nuclear fuel storage and reprocessing facilities;
- Ferro-Manganese deposits.
- The abundance of cultural and historical sites are major restrictions on construction in the St. Petersburg suburbs of Lomonosov and Peterhof.
Offshore there is also heavy shipping traffic and anchorage areas in and around the ports of St. Petersburg and Ust-Luga.
Two route options have been identified to the south of St. Petersburg: through the Kolganpya Cape and the Narva Bay.
Stage III - Evaluating Landfall Options in the Kingisepp District
Reliable infrastructure, including gas transportation, would create the conditions for new industrial enterprises, new investment and could contribute to the sustainable development of the Kingisepp district.
Kolganpya Cape route
- The route is 39 km longer than the Narva option, which means construction work will affect a larger area and take longer.
- A significant amount of dredging will be required, approximately four times as much as for the Narva Bay route. It is necessary due to shallow water with numerous rocky outcrops and boulders, shipping lane crossing, restricted military exercise areas and ancorage areas.
- Due to the greater volume of work and length of time required to perform it, the impact on biodiversity will be greater than for the Narva Bay route.
- Crossing shipping lanes will require restrictions to ship traffic during the construction stage and will elevate the risk during operation.
- This route also crosses the habitats of grey and ringed seals.
- This route has a greater impact on the proposed Eastern Gulf of Finland (Ingermanlandsky) nature reserve. This territory is a key habitat of grey and ringed seals.
- The Gazprom supply pipeline will pass through the Kotelsky nature reserve. Nord Stream 2 crosses the Koporski Bay important bird area and pass by the proposed Eastern Gulf of Finland (Ingermanlandsky) nature reserve (there are plans to create it in 2017).
Narva Bay route
- 39 km shorter than the Kolganpya Cape route, meaning work will take less time.
- Significantly less dredging (1/4) will be required compared to the Kolganpya Cape route because there is less shallow water and no boulders.
- Smoother seabed so less seabed intervention works.
- Far from shipping channels, ports and industrial and other facilities, less impact to ship traffic during construction and reduced risk during operation.
- Far from the habitats of grey and ringed seals.
- Less impact to the proposed Eastern Gulf of Finland (Ingermanlandsky) nature reserve and to grey and ringed seals.
- 3.7 kilometres of the gas pipeline will pass through the southern section of the Kurgalsky nature reserve and the Kurgalsky Peninsula Ramsar site (the borders of both are identical). This route option does not pass through any important bird areas.
Taking all factors into consideration, Narva Bay route is the preferred option. It will have a lower environmental impact.
Narva Bay Route: Crossing the Kurgalsky Nature Reserve
Caring for the environment is a priority for Nord Stream 2 AG. We will employ state-of-the-art environmental technologies and invest in the region’s sustainable development. Our aim is not just to minimise impact but to have a positive effect on biodiversity and local communities.
The onshore segment of the Narva Bay route passes through a maximum of 3.7 kilometres of the southern section of the Kurgalsky reserve.
- The biodiversity of flora and fauna is significantly lower here than in the northern section which is home to key protected species.
- Most of the route through the reserve (2.3 out of 3.7 km) covers modified habitats: young plantations on burned or otherwise degraded forest areas and fallow lands.
- The pipeline service facilities (pig trap area) and the Gazprom compressor station will be built outside the reserve.
- The environmentally significant wetland (Кader Swamp) will be crossed on the very edge and in the driest part.
- Of most value is a primary coniferous forest along the seashore, approximately 1 km of which will be crossed. Survey for a detailed engineering assessment, optimization of route options and technical solutions will be carried out to implement the project with minimum