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Pipeline company hopeful to get permits for Baltic gas pipeline

The Russian-German joint-venture company planning to build a natural gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea expressed hopes that necessary permits would be issued this autumn, an official said Thursday.

„In spite of the political stir caused by the project we are hopeful,” Werner Zirnig who is in charge of the application process at Nord Stream said according to Finnish news agency STT. „The gas project began as a technical project. Now the politicians have become interested. They have to be aware that if people are to get their gas then the market has to be able to carry out its task,” Zirnig added at a meeting of natural gas companies in the Finnish capital. The 1,200-kilometre pipeline was envisaged to go online in 2010 and would run from Viborg in Russia to Greifswald, Germany. Early April, Nord Stream said it would conduct additional studies for the route of the pipeline after compiling responses from government agencies and others consulted. Authorities in Finland and Sweden have suggested that Nord Stream investigates alternative routes for some stretches of the pipeline, citing environmental concerns including the need to avoid areas used by bird colonies during the winter time. Nordic nations have said they were worried that construction work would stir up toxic substances in the mud or disturb dumps containing World War II chemical weapons. (