UST LUGA, Leningrad region, March 23 (Itar-Tass) —— The shipment of Russian crude by the Baltic Pipeline System 2 started at the Ust Luga port on Friday. Prime Minister, President Elect Vladimir Putin pushed the start button, and crude pumping into the Nevsky Prospect tanker began. The tanker will depart for Rotterdam tonight.
The terminal will run in the trial mode at first. The loading of the second tanker is planned for March 26.
Putin thanked Transneft workers for their successful performance and said they had a big construction program ahead.
The initial annual capacity of the Baltic Pipeline System 2 is 30 million tonnes; it will grow to 38 million tonnes later on. The second phase of the project will be complete in December 2013.
The construction of the Baltic Pipeline System 2 between Unecha, Bryansk region, and Ust Luga began by the Russian government directive issued on November 26, 2008. The pipeline runs through Bryansk, Smolensk, Tver, Novgorod and Leningrad regions.
The project fulfilled the idea of an independent Baltic route for Russian crude transportation. The Baltic Pipeline System 1 was put into service in Primorsk in December 2001. Currently Primorsk transships 74 million tonnes of crude per year, almost a third of Russia’s total exports. Further development of the Baltic Pipeline System aims to diversify Russian crude exports and to lower transit risks.