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Nord Stream AG said on Friday it planned to unveil
Nord Stream AG said on Friday it planned to unveil in early March an environmental report to the Baltic Sea states on a gas pipeline project designed to pump gas to the Balkans and other European states.

"The transboundary environmental report [Espoo Report] for the Nord Stream gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea will be ready for public participation in early March 2009. Until then, the Nord Stream consortium will incorporate all final comments and remarks," the consortium said.

The decision was confirmed at a meeting in Copenhagen with officials from the nine Baltic states (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden) on Friday.

"The start of public participation on our Espoo Report will mark an important milestone for Nord Stream, and confirms that we are on schedule to start transporting gas from Russia to Europe in 2011," said Nord Stream's Permitting Director Dirk von Ameln.

The Nord Stream pipeline, which will pump gas from Siberia to Europe under the Baltic Sea, bypassing East European transit countries, is being built jointly by Gazprom, Germany's E.ON and BASF, and Dutch gas transportation firm Gasunie at an estimated cost of $12 billion.

The project, which has taken on a political element amid the recent gas row between Russia and Ukraine, requires a positive environmental report before it is allowed to go ahead. The Nord Stream consortium says it has spent over 100 million euros ($130 million) on environmental impact studies and planning.

Permits to construct and operate the pipeline are required from Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, countries which the pipeline will pass through, as well as Baltic Sea countries that could be affected by the pipeline.

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