Agata Loskot-Strachota and Lukasz Antas
EUOBSERVER /COMMENT - Last week the first pipe-lay vessel entered the Baltic Sea and is set to begin construction of the Nord Stream pipeline in April 2010.
On 16 March Nord Stream consortium secured a €3.9bn loan which enables to it to finance the first leg of the pipeline. It furthermore appears that there will be no difficulties in garnering loans for the implementation of the second phase of the project, nor are any delays in construction expected; this comes despite information surfacing about the final cost of the project having risen (reaching as much as €8.8bn).
The first line is to be put into operation in 2011 in spite of ongoing protests from ecologists (WWF, BUND) and from Poland and the Baltic states.
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