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Gazprom: Nord Stream 2 cost would rise by 'hundreds of millions' to bypass Denmark

Fri, 4th Oct 2019 11:25

By Vladimir Soldatkin

MOSCOW, Oct 4 (Reuters) - An alternative route bypassing
Danish waters for the construction of the undersea Nord Stream 2
gas pipeline would cost "hundreds of millions of dollars", the
chairman of Russian gas company Gazprom told Reuters.

The comments by Viktor Zubkov mark the first time Gazprom
has conceded that the project would run up significant costs by
making a detour around Denmark.

In a letter obtained by Reuters in August, the pipeline
operator said the project could be delayed by up to eight months
and incur further costs of 560 million euros ($615 million) due
to hurdles in securing permits from Denmark.

The initial budget was 9.5 billion euros.

Zubkov, speaking on the sidelines of an energy conference in
Moscow this week, also said Gazprom was hopeful that Denmark
would still allow it to run the pipeline through its waters.

Of all the countries through which Gazprom is building the
pipeline to Germany under the Baltic Sea, Denmark is the only
one yet to approve the project.

Nord Stream 2 faces resistance from some European countries
and the United States, which say it would enhance Europe's
dependence on Russian energy supplies.

The project would double the capacity of the existing Nord
Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany to 110 billion cubic
metres a year and allow Russia to bypass Ukraine, currently its
main transit route for European sales.

"The increase (in costs) would be in hundreds of millions of
dollars," Zubkov said in reference to circumnavigating Denmark.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Denmark on Wednesday
to ignore U.S. pressure and "show it has sovereignty" by
allowing Nord Stream 2 to go through its territory.

Aside from Gazprom, half of the funding for Nord Stream 2 is
being provided by Germany's Uniper and BASF's
Wintershall unit, Anglo-Dutch company Shell,
Austria's OMV and France's Engie.

($1 = 0.9113 euros)
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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