Mon, 28 Nov 2022

Authorities will check if the gas pipeline explosions affected a power cable connection with Poland

Authorities in Sweden are worried that sabotage on the Nord Stream gas pipelines this week may have also damaged an important undersea power line.

The SwePol Link delivers electricity between Karlshamn in Sweden and Bruskowo Wielkie in Poland. The cable was shut down for maintenance during the incident with the pipeline.

Sweden's power grid operator Svenska kraftnat plans to check the state of SwePol as it lies close to a section of Nord Stream. According to broadcaster SVT, the Swedish Security Service has launched its own investigation into the matter.

"Of course, we are wondering if something has happened to it. We got a picture quite quickly that it lies about 500 meters from one of the detonations," Per Kvarnefalk, a senior official at Svenska kraftnat, told SVT on Thursday evening.

"We don't know how serious the underwater detonation was. To ensure that nothing has happened, we will take measurements at the beginning of next week."

The Swedish experts will work with their Polish colleagues, Kvarnefalk said. "We can manage without the cable for some time, but it will clearly have an impact [on Sweden] if it gets shut down for a longer period," he added.

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 routes, which deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany, lost pressure on Monday, after which four gas leaks were discovered. The EU and several of its member states said the damage looked deliberate, while the Kremlin described the incident as a terrorist act.

Nord Stream 1 was already shut down due to prolonged maintenance when the leaks appeared. Russian operator Gazprom blamed the lengthy delay on Western sanctions that were imposed on Moscow following its military operation in Ukraine.

The Nord Stream 2 was never fully operational because Germany halted certification in February in response to the Ukraine conflict.

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