Construction of South Stream Underwater Section to Start in 2014
The construction of the underwater section of the South Stream gas pipeline will start no earlier than 2014, according to sources from the South Stream Transport consortium which runs the project.
The official ceremony for the start of construction works on the gas pipeline was held on December 7 in the coastal town of Anapa.
The symbolic welding ceremony was attended by Bulgaria's Regional Development Minister Lilyana Pavlova.
The pipeline, which is to carry Russian gas via Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to Italy, is expected to carry the first gas supplies before 2015, despite the delay.
A statement of the South Stream Transport consortium informs that the construction of all pipeline sections will start after all environmental permits have been granted.
According to a spokesperson for the consortium, subsea pipe laying and landfall construction of the offshore section is to start in 2014, while most onshore construction is expected to have commenced earlier.
The construction schedule is explained by the fact that the construction of the subsea section of the pipeline is more complex.
The 2400-km pipeline is to carry up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
The gas pipeline is expected to cost a minimum of EUR 16 B.
South Stream's core shareholders include Gazprom with 50%, Italy's Eni with 20% and Germany's Wintershall Holding and France's EDF with 15% each.
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