Russian energy giant JSC Gazprom said Monday it would stick to its plans to build a $12 billion gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea, despite calls for change.

"So far, there are no grounds to say the timeframe for the gas pipeline construction will be moved," Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said.

"We say that it will be put into operation in the second half of 2010."

Sweden's three opposition parties Monday called on Stockholm to reject the Nord Stream pipeline's underwater-construction plans.

In an Op-Ed piece appearing in Stockholm's Svenska Dagbladet, the Social Democratic Party, Left Party and Green Party urged Sweden to join Poland and the Baltic states in examining the possibility of rerouting the pipeline onto dry land "for the sake of the climate and the Baltic Sea."

Earlier this month Finland said it supported the pipeline, envisioned to carry natural gas to Germany from Russia, but said it would study the pipeline's environmental consequences.

The Gulf of Finland, a Baltic Sea arm, "is polluted, and toxic substances could surface from the seabed during the gas pipeline's construction," said Harri Helenius, Finland's ambassador to Russia.

The 750-mile-long dual-pipe project -- developed by Gazprom, German energy company E.ON AG and German chemical company BASF AG -- is projected to carry 55 billion cubic meters a year.

Opponents regard the project as controversial for national-security risks as well as environmental concerns.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Related Project
Nord Stream Pipeline
Facility Type: Pipeline Owner: Nord Stream AG
Scope: New Construction Location: Vyborg, Russia to Greifswald, Germany Russian Federation