Sweden says application for Baltic pipeline incomplete

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Consortium Nord Stream’s application for Swedish permission to build a gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea is too incomplete to take a stance on, the Swedish government said on Tuesday.

Sweden’s Environment Ministry said it had on Tuesday asked Nord Stream to augment its application with environmental impact assessments along with consideration of possible alternative routes, among other things.

Sweden, along with Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, have raised ecological and other concerns about the 1,200 kilometer subsea gas pipeline linking Russia and Germany.

“Decisive accounts are lacking in Nord Stream’s applications for permission for a gas pipe in the Baltic Sea. It takes substantial complements for the government to be able to try the applications,” it said in a statement.

Finland’s environment ministry said earlier this month that Poland, Estonia and Lithuania are interested in an overland gas pipeline instead. Lithuania has called for more investigation into the impact of waste and old munitions on the sea bed as well as of the security threat implied by the Baltic pipeline.

The Nord Stream consortium, majority owned by Russia’s Gazprom with Germany’s BASF, E.ON and Dutch firm Gasunie as shareholders, plans to start shipments along the route in 2011.

It plans initially to pump 27.5 billion cubic meters a year, doubling capacity with a second line in 2012.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by James Jukwey