Pipeline Fever Hits Northern Fennoscandia – Updated

October 31, 2007 • Philip BurgessReindeer

With the ink barely dry on the Statoil – Shtokman deal, with northern political leaders excited about the boost in future investment in the region, other mega projects are starting to emerge. A Swedish company called BothnianArc has applied to the Nordic Council of Ministers for funding to conduct preliminary investigations on the economic and environmental implications of the construction of a gas pipeline from Statoil’s LNG Melkoya plant in Hammerfest to Haparanda, on the northern coast of the Gulf of Bothnia.

The route of the pipeline runs directly through the heart of the reindeer husbandry regions of Finnmark and Northern Finland. The pipeline would then split in two and run down the coasts of Sweden and Finland, servicing the heavy industrial activities that are in both regions, according to the companies press release. If funding is agreed to, they intend to complete their investigations by September 2008.

StatoilHydro, owner of the LNG-plant in Hammerfest, rejected the idea saying there will be too few customers in the area to make a pipeline profitable according to an article in Euroarctic.

─ A pipeline to Sweden has been looked at, but there is no commercial ground for it, says Sverre Kojedal, Information Officer of StatoilHydro.

Sverre Kojedal thinks however that customers in Northern Sweden could sill benefit from the Snohvit gas and in a worrying note for reindeer husbandry said that deliveries of LNG to Sweden could go by road.

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