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Longer construction work for LNG pipeline

The construction work for the Rügen LNG terminal and the connecting pipeline was originally due to be completed by the end of the year. Nothing will come of it. This is leading to conflicts.

View of the construction site of the feed-in point for the 50-kilometer-long connection line
View of the construction site of the feed-in point for the 50-kilometer-long connection line from Mukran to the mainland.

Liquefied natural gas - Longer construction work for LNG pipeline

Fisheries expert Christopher Zimmermann is alarmed by the looming extension of the construction period for the connection pipeline for the Rügen liquefied natural gas (LNG ) terminal. "To be honest, I find it frightening," the head of the Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries told the German Press Agency on Wednesday. The background to this is the planned work in an important spawning area for herring.

The responsible approval authority announced on Wednesday that the gas network operator Gascade had applied for permission to build in the area of the first pipeline section in January and February. A draft of the approval should therefore be published on Thursday. The first section runs through the Greifswalder Bodden - the nursery of the herring.

According to Gascade, the project involves the restoration of the seabed and reefs. In total, around seven kilometers are involved. According to Gascade, the dredgers actually responsible for this had to dredge the trench that had already been created elsewhere because it had silted up again due to the storm of the century in October. Now the restoration is to be made up for. According to the Stralsund Mining Authority, the areas are located both inside and outside the Greifswald Bodden.

Zimmermann said that his institute had said that the work should definitely stop by December 31. Herring were already gathering off the coast of Rügen. They were waiting to migrate to their spawning grounds. In his opinion, the work should be interrupted until mid-May so as not to further endanger the herring, which are already under pressure.

Gascade, on the other hand, says it expects spawning to begin in March and referred to its own environmental expert. Only a small fraction of the Greifswalder Bodden and the Bodden edge threshold would be affected by shipping traffic. "The outstanding work is low-turbidity and will not affect the herring migration."

According to Gascade, the outstanding restoration work does not stand in the way of completing the pipeline this winter. The company argues that a later implementation would have disadvantages for the environment because it would then coincide with the breeding season of local creatures.

Zimmermann says he sees contradictions in the company's argumentation. The work is planned at strategically important locations for the herring. It was obviously about money because an interruption would be more expensive. In this context, he also criticized the dumping of dredged material in the so-called Sassnitz channel, apparently also for cost reasons. According to him, important herring areas are located here. In view of the severe pressure on the stock, he also expressed a lack of understanding with regard to the licensing authority.

"It's not about preventing this pipeline or the LNG connection." But the potential impact on the herring must be kept to a minimum. Due to a lack of alternatives, herring is the only chance for local coastal fishing in the foreseeable future.

The mining authority said that until a final decision is made at the beginning of January, the approval, which was to be published from Thursday, remains a draft without actual legal consequences. Even after the interpretation, details of the decision could still change. On the subject of herring, the authority referred to the reasons for the decision, which will also be published.

Communication from the mining authority

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