12 February 2013

Construction of NEL last line approved by German authorities

The State Office for Mining, Energy and Geology of the German region Lower Saxony has issued a permit for the construction of the last line of the NEL gas pipeline, the western branch of the Nord Stream onshore gas pipeline. The route, with a length of 35 kilometers, will start from the town of Tespe and run to the Harmstorf compressor station (in the district of Harburg).

Construction of the NEL pipeline began in the spring of 2011, and it was planned to be completed by November 1, 2012, the start date of supplies via the second line of Nord Stream. However, in late June 2011 residents of several localities who were anxious the pipeline would run too close to their communities won a court order to temporarily stop construction. In their view, the pipeline should not be laid less than 350 meters from residential buildings.

The so-called «southern option» route was offered as an alternative when the pipeline would run at a safe distance from dwellings. The construction permit is accompanied by certain conditions. In particular, it’s necessary to observe environmental norms all along the length of the pipeline.

Prior to the commissioning of the last line of the NEL pipeline Russian gas will be supplied to consumers in Germany through existing routes.

The NEL gas pipeline, with a total length of 440 kilometers, will run from the point where the Nord Stream pipeline comes on shore near Greifswald to Hamburg and Bremen and the underground gas storage facility in Rehden (Lower Saxony). Its capacity will amount to 21.8 billion cubic meters per year. Through the NEL gas pipeline the Russian gas will be supplied to Germany as well as to Denmark, Holland, Belgium and the UK.

Related sections:
Nord Stream, Germany

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