Sebastian Sass, head of Nord Stream's EU representation, said the green light from Denmark, a country known for its high environment standards and with considerable experience in offshore pipelines, gave sufficient guarantees as to the technical and environmental quality of the project.
The Danish scrutiny was very sophisticated, Sass said.
The remaining countries yet to issue such construction permits are Russia, Germany, Finland and Sweden. Asked if Sweden was the most difficult country, Saas said Stockholm, like Helsinki, had consistently said this was an environmental and not a political issue. But he added that the same applied to Germany, where the process of obtaining the permit was in no way easier.
He conceded that a much wider public debate had taken place in Sweden, including on security issues, which by now he said had "very much calmed down".
Discussions are now centred on environmental issues, but Nord Stream was happy to be able to respond as it had produced the largest Baltic Sea environmental study in history, he said.
Germany, Denmark and Russia will also benefit from transit fees, as the pipe runs through their territorial waters. Sweden and Finland will not, as in their case the pipe runs through their exclusive economic zones. According to international law no transit duties can be imposed there.
According to the official, Sweden and Finland will benefit from the fact that this form of gas transportation is much more secure than others. If the same amounts were transported in LNG tankers, that would be 600 tankers a year, he said. Paradoxically, for LNG tankers no permissions were needed, although the risks with this kind of transport were higher, he explained.
Asked what was expected from the other countries involved, the Nord Steam official said that Finland's government was due to take a decision either on 29 October or 5 November. For Sweden, no date has been set yet but the decision is expected by the end of the year at the latest. As for Russia and Germany, both have quite cumbersome procedures, Saas said, although in theory they should be eager to lift restrictions as supply and demand countries.
He expects that the construction will start on schedule, beginning in 2010, with the first of two parallel lines expected to be completed in 2011 and the second in 2012.
Regarding financing the project, he said Nord Stream had received bids from potential investors, and in fact kept on receiving such bids, but he did not want to elaborate.
A Reuters article, quoting Nord Steam sources, claims that the project has raised over 15% more funding than the target amount after lenders showed an unexpected level of interest in larger tickets of around 300 million euros.
Banks advising the Nord Stream group on its 3.9 billion euros ($5.84 billion) finance package are expected to receive final pricing bids and commitments from lenders this week, Reuters writes.