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Finland says China promises full cooperation in pipeline probe

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

Finland on Wednesday said China had promised to fully cooperate in the investigation of the destruction last month of the Balticconnector gas pipeline, which happened on the same night that three subsea telecoms cables in the area were also damaged (Reuters).

Finnish police have said they are investigating whether a Hong Kong registered container vessel, the NewNew Polar Bear, damaged the pipeline by dragging its anchor over the sea bed, but have not concluded whether this was an accident or not. An anchor believed to belong to the Chinese ship was later found near the pipeline at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, and was retrieved by Finnish investigators.

"They (China) have promised full cooperation and we trust it," Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen told Reuters. "Now that the investigation is progressing, and it is currently at the official level, I believe that the Chinese authorities will not only take it seriously, but will also fully cooperate with us," she said.

Two telecoms cables linking Estonia to Finland and Sweden were damaged on the same night between 7 – 8 October, authorities said last month, and Russia's Rostelecom on Tuesday revealed that one of its fibre optic cables had also been hit.

Data from shipping intelligence firm MarineTraffic, reviewed by Reuters, showed that the NewNew Polar Bear passed over the pipeline and the telecoms cables in the space of less than nine hours.



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The November 2023 issue of World Pipelines includes a regional report on pipeline activity in Australia, covering the critical role Australia’s pipelines are playing in digitalisation and decarbonisation efforts. This issue also includes a cover story about achieving ‘Mega Rule’ compliance, as well as articles on the role of pipelines in the energy transition, offshore and subsea projects, leak detection, automatic welding systems and more.

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