Last update:
2019-12-06

Danish-Polish Baltic Pipe Fossil Gas Infrastructure Project, Denmark

The Baltic Pipe Project is a large EU-funded fossil gas infrastructure project facing resistance from farmers, local residents and climate activists. It risks breaching Denmark’s climate goals.


Description:

The EU is largely dependent on fossil natural gas imports, with a dependency rate of around 78% in 2018 [1]. While almost one third of the EU’s gas imports come from Norway, the largest source is Russia through both direct and indirect imports via Ukraine and Belarus, overall accounting for almost half of the EU’s natural gas imports (2018) [1]. A major geopolitical driver of the so-called Baltic Pipe Project has therefore been the diversification of the European energy supply in a push away from a dependency on Europe’s Russian gas supply [2]. The aim of the cross-border gas infrastructure project is to create a new natural gas supply corridor in the European market, connecting the Norwegian with the Danish and Polish gas transmission systems [3]. The project was awarded the status of a ‘Project of Common Interest’ (PCI) by the European Commission due to its role in strengthening the European internal energy market [3]. It will be a collaboration between the Danish gas and electricity transmission system operator ‘Energinet’ and the Polish gas transmission system operator ‘GAZ-SYSTEM’, both state-owned companies [3]. The reasoning behind the project has included arguments such a reduction in cost for gas users as infrastructure costs are split between Denmark and Poland, energy security in diversifying gas supply sources, increasing trade and competition in the gas market, opening up the possibility for cheap transportation of biogas and facilitating Eastern Europe’s transition away from coal and a dependency on Russian gas supplies [2, 4].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Danish-Polish Baltic Pipe Fossil Gas Infrastructure Project, Denmark
Country:Denmark
Location of conflict:Everdrup (compressorstation), but cross-country pipeline
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Baltic Pipe Project is made up of five onshore and offshore components, with a total length of around 850km [12]. The first component will consist of a 105-110 km offshore pipeline connecting the Norwegian gas system in the North Sea and the Danish gas transmission system through a tie-in to the existing Europipe II pipeline (connecting the Norwegian and German gas transmission systems) [3]. Danish Energinet is responsible for this part of the pipeline, which will have a diameter of 800mm and operating pressure of 8.5-11 megapascal and will connect to the Danish onshore component on the beach near Blåbjerg on Denmark’s west coast [3]. Due to increased volumes of gas, an extension of the Danish pipe network by around 210-230 km is required, which will also fall under Energinet’s responsibilities [3]. Diameters of the pipes will be 900 and 1000 mm, with operating pressures lying at 5-8 megapascal [3]. The third element of the pipeline is the compressor station 1 km east of Everdrup which carries the important function of increasing the pressure of the gas by 5-12 megapascal for transportation to and from Poland [3]. The station area will include up to 4 compressors, a transformer station and a steel chimney [8]. It is co-financed by the Danish and Polish operators and requires an area of up to 20 hectares [3]. Altogether, the onshore pipeline will affect 13 municipalities in Denmark [10]. The offshore component in the Baltic Sea involves a bi-directional transmission of gas and, with the current recommended route (status 2018), will be 275km long, crossing Danish and Polish waters as well as the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone [3]. It will be owned by Polish GAZ-SYSTEM and its recommended land connections are Faxe South in Denmark and Niechorze-Pogorzelica in Poland [3]. The final component of the project includes an expansion of approximately 230-280 km new pipelines and an upgrade of the Polish current gas transmission system, including the construction or expansion of 3 gas compressor stations [3]. The gas pipelines will have a diameter of 900 and 1000 mm and operating pressures at 8.4 and 15 megapascal and will be owned by Polish GAZ-SYSTEM [3]. Micro-tunneling techniques will be used in the landfall segments transitioning between onshore and offshore to minimise impacts on coastal environments, while an offshore technique called S-lay can be used depending on the seabed habitat in which the pipe is placed on the seabed rather than buried below [3].

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Level of Investment:1,900,000,000 - 2,500,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:2013
Company names or state enterprises:Energinet from Denmark - Co-owner/co-developer
GAZ-SYSTEM from Poland - Co-owner/co-developer
Relevant government actors:The Danish Government - Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities (https://en.kefm.dk/)
The Polish Government
International and Finance InstitutionsEuropean Commission (Connecting Europe Facility) (CEF) - Project funding
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:NOAH (Friends of the Earth Denmark) - https://noah.dk/
350 - https://350.org/
Klimabevægelsen Danmark (Climate Movement Denmark) - https://www.klimabevaegelsen.dk/
Den Grønne Studenterbevægelse (The Green Student Movement) - https://www.dgsb.dk/
Global Kontakt
Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke (Action Aid) - https://www.ms.dk/
Folkets Klimamarch (The People’s Climate March) - https://www.klimamarchkbh.com/
Klima Aktion DK
Klimakollektivet - https://klimakollektivet.org/
Extinction Rebellion Danmark - https://xrdk.org/

Local groups: Borgergruppen i Everdrup and Everdrup Bylaug
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Court decision (undecided)
Migration/displacement
Strengthening of participation
Development of alternatives:Two petitions for alternatives have been initiated by local residents, the first of which proposes the need for an alternative location of the compressor station currently planned by Everdrup and a second petition to stop the pipeline project completely [29]. Furthermore, a recommendation from the public consultation meetings included building the pipeline only offshore [8]. However, this was not considered a feasible option by Energinet due to the extra costs and that the advantages of incorporating the pipeline into the existing gas infrastructure in Denmark would not be realised [8].

Alternative recommendations from both environmental organisations such as NOAH and political parties Enhedslisten and Alternativet have included that more investments are made in renewable energy infrastructure in both Denmark and Poland instead in order to aid the green energy transition more long-term, such as through solar and technologies to increase energy efficiency [25, 14, 17].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:With the latest approval of the Danish onshore section of the pipeline at the end of October 2019 and construction set to begin early January 2020, the Baltic Pipe project is underway to become an environmental justice failure from a Danish perspective, according to farmers and climate activists. Environmental organisations and local organising groups are continuing their efforts to be heard and reverse the decision-making process by means of demonstrations, legal actions, awareness raising events and encouraging the public to write formal complaints to the Danish administration. It remains to be seen whether the mobilisation in Denmark will be able to follow the streak of successful mobilisations against European gas infrastructure projects this year in France/Spain and Sweden (see above).

The outline and discussion of the Baltic Pipe project in this case is from a Danish perspective, it must therefore be noted that an evaluation of environmental justice from a Polish perspective could arguably look different. One of the major arguments used to support the pipeline project has been that it will aid Poland’s transition from coal to natural gas and thereby reduce carbon emissions, given that gas is the comparably less polluting fossil energy source. Estimates from Polish side have pointed to a steady increase in the use of gas over the next many years, despite Poland’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, and the country faces the difficult challenge of transitioning thousands of mining jobs to other industries. At the same time, the country’s effort to diversify its energy supply away from its Russian neighbour has been the major geopolitical driver of this project. Considering these aspects is crucial in this bi-national project while pointing out environmental justice issues in the project from a Danish perspective.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[25] NOAH (2019) ‘Fossile brændsler: Baltic Pipe kan stoppes.’ (Translation: ‘Fossil fuels: Baltic Pipe can be stopped’) 19/09/19.
[click to view]

[7] Biznes Alert, Editorial Staff (2018) ‘EU grants another subsidy to Baltic Pipe under the CEF 2018.’ Biznes Alert.
[click to view]

[12] Energistyrelsen (n.d.) ‘Tilladelse til Baltic Pipe naturgasrørledning i Nordsøen & Lillebælt samt Østersøen.’
[click to view]

[26] Baltic Pipe i DK - Facebook group.
[click to view]

[30] Enhedslisten - Annual Conference 2019.
[click to view]

[35] Energinet (n.d.) ‘Baltic Pipe.’
[click to view]

The Baltic Pipe Project is a large EU-funded fossil gas infrastructure project between Denmark and Poland which has faced resistance from farmers, local residents and climate activists in Denmark, and risks breaching Denmark’s climate goals.
[click to view]

[2] Newman, N. (2019) ‘Baltic Pipeline Project to Carry Norwegian Gas to Eastern Europe.’ Pipeline and Gas Journal, 246(5).
[click to view]

[5] Gurzu, A. (2016) ‘Poland turns to Norwegian gas to trump Russia.’ Politico, 18/10/16.
[click to view]

[6] European Commission (n.d.) ‘Key cross-border infrastructure projects.’
[click to view]

[8] Energinet and GAZ SYSTEM (2019) ‘Baltic Pipe – Ikke-teknisk resumé af miljøkonsekvensrapporterne for Baltic Pipe.’ (Translation: ‘Baltic Pipe – Non-technical summary of Baltic Pipe EIAs.’ February 2019.
[click to view]

[9] Ravn, J. A. (2018) ‘Debat: Udemoktratisk Baltic Pipe-projekt.’ Effektivt Landbrug, 07/12/18.
[click to view]

[10] Nordvang Jensen, C., Hollingdale, J., Kragelund, M. and Kirk, T. (2018) ‘Ekspert kritiserer gasledning gennem Danmark: Vi risikerer ikke at leve op til vores klimamål.’ DR Nyheder, 14/12/18.
[click to view]

[11] ‘B 69 Forslag til folketingsbeslutning om Danmarks indgåelse af overenskomst af 19. november 2018 mellem Kongeriget Danmark på den ene side og Republikken Polen på den anden side om afgrænsningen af havområder i Østersøen.’ (Translation: B 69 Proposal of parliamentary decision on Denmark entering the agreement of the 19th of November 2018 between the Danish Kingdom on the one side and the Republic of Poland on the other side about the sea borders in the Baltic Sea.’
[click to view]

[14]‘§ 20-spørgsmål S 792 Om det gavner klimaindsatsen at bygge Baltic Pipe.’ (Translation: ‘Regarding whether it benefits the climate efforts to build the Baltic Pipe’) and ‘§ 20-spørgsmål S 793 Om at danske forbrugere skal betale til en gasrørledning mellem Norge og Polen.’ (Translation: ‘Regarding whether Danish users should pay for a gas pipeline between Norway and Poland’) Debate in the Danish Parliament, 16/04/19.
[click to view]

[15] NOAH (2019) ‘NOAHs høringsvar til af miljøkonsekvensrapport for naturgasrørledningsprojektet Baltic Pipe.’ NOAH (Friends of the Earth Denmark), 09/04/19.
[click to view]

[13] Energinet (2018) ‘Business Case for Baltic Pipe.’ Public version, published 28/02/18 (updated 15/03/18).
[click to view]

[16] ‘Baltic Pipe Nej Tak’ - ‘Åbent brev til regeringen.’ (Translation: ‘Open Letter to the Danish Government.’) Joint open letter.
[click to view]

[17] ‘Åbent samråd i Energi-, Forsnynings- og Klimaudvalget om Baltic Pipe-projektet.’ (Translation: ‘Open meeting with Climate, Energy and Utilities Committee regarding the Baltic Pipe Project.’, 01/06/2018.
[click to view]

[18] Varming, J.M. and Würtz, J. (2019) ‘Kæmpe gasledning tvinger Richard til at sælge til livsværk.’ (Translation: ‘Major gas pipeline forces Richard to sell his lifelong work’). DR Nyheder, 04/10/19.
[click to view]

[20] Gyldenkærne, P. G. and Juul, T. W. (2018) ‘Energinet lover erstatning: Landmænd vil helst være fri for kæmpe gasledning igennem deres marker.’ DR Nyheder, 13/03/18.
[click to view]

[21] Gyldenkærne, P. G. and Juul, G. (2018) ‘Landmænd samler sig mod gigantisk gasledning.’ (Translation: ‘Farmers gather against gigantic gas pipeline’) DR Nyheder, 06/03/18.
[click to view]

[22] Andersen, T.M., Brandt, N. and Sander, C.D. (2018) ‘Beboer samler nu underskrifter mod gasledning.’ (Translation: ‘Residents are collecting signatures against pipeline’). DR Nyheder, 19/03/18.
[click to view]

[23] Christensen, H. A. (2018) ‘Rådgiver: Baltic Pipe er ikke i almenvellets interesse.’ (Translation: ‘Advisor: Baltic Pipe is not in the interest of the public.’ Landbrugsavisen, 24/07/18.
[click to view]

[24] Palm, K. (2019) ‘Baltic Pipe endelig godkendt: Alle tilladelser er på plads.’ (Translation: ‘Baltic Pipe finally approved: all approvals are settled). SN.dk, 25/10/19.
[click to view]

[27] Baltic Pipe i DK, Nej Tak - Facebook group.
[click to view]

[28] Baltic Pipe No Thank You - Petition.
[click to view]

[29] ‘Baltic Pipe Nej Tak’ (Translation: ‘No to Baltic Pipe’) website. Launch of ‘Baltic Pipe Nej Tak’ platform’; ‘Underskriftsindsamling.’ (Petitions).
[click to view]

[31] ‘Demo imod fossil infrastruktur!’ (Translation: ‘Demo against fossil infrastructure!’) - Facebook event to take place in Copenhagen on the 27/11/19.
[click to view]

[33] Ekblom, J. (2019) ‘European Investment Bank to cease funding fossil fuel projects by end-2021.’ Reuters, 14/11/19.
[click to view]

[32] ‘Klag til Energiklagenævnet.’ (Translation: Complain to the Energy Complaints Committee’) - Facebook event.
[click to view]

[34] Pipelines International (2019) ‘The pipe dream securing EU energy security.’ 25/05/19.
[click to view]

[36] Knudsen, R.B. (2019) ‘Landmænd tvinges til at afgive jord til kæmpe gasledning: Advokat sår tvivl om lovligheden.’

Jydske Vestkysten, 27/11/19.
[click to view]

[1] Eurostat (2019) ‘Natural gas supply statistics – Natural gas imports.’ Data from May 2019.
[click to view]

[4] Lundbye, A. (2019) ‘Lodsejere, naboer og lokalsamfund inviteres til borgermøder om Baltic Pipe.’ (Translation: ‘Landowners, neighbours and local communities invited to public meetings about Baltic Pipe’). TV2 Øst, 15/02/19.
[click to view]

[19] Gyldenkærne, P. G. and Juul, G. (2018) ‘Landmænd til kamp mod energiselskab om kæmpe ledninger.’ DR Nyheder, 05/04/18.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Baltic Pipe Nej Tak campaign website.
[click to view]

Other documents

Baltic Pipe demonstration in Copenhagen Baltic Pipe Nej Tak protest in Copenhagen on the way to the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, 27/11/19. Photo credit: Baltic Pipe Nej Tak Facebook group.
[click to view]

Planned route of Baltic Pipe Map of the planned route of the pipeline. Available from: https://www.baltic-pipe.eu/the-project/
[click to view]

Planned route of Baltic Pipe Map of the planned route of the pipeline. Available from: https://www.baltic-pipe.eu/the-project/
[click to view]

Baltic Pipe Nej Tak - Activist campaign logo Available from Baltic Pipe Nej Tak Facebook page.
[click to view]

Baltic Pipe demonstration in Copenhagen The Baltic Pipe Project is a large EU-funded fossil gas infrastructure project between Denmark and Poland which has faced resistance from farmers, local residents and climate activists in Denmark, and risks breaching Denmark’s climate goals.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:ICTA-UAB, EJ Atlas Interns NC and LM, 2019
Last update06/12/2019
Comments
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