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GORKI, November 13 (Itar-Tass) — Russia and Slovenia have signed a final investment decision on the construction of the Slovenian section of the South Stream gas pipeline. On Tuesday, the document was signed as a result of the talks held by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his Slovenian counterpart Janez Jansa, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, Director General of the Plinovodi company Marjan Eberlinc, and Plinovodi Deputy Director Sarah Jezernik.
Besides, the senior officials of Gazprom and the Slovenian company Comita have signed founding documents of the South Stream Telecom AG joint venture.
South Stream is the most ambitious Balkan project of Gazprom and its foreign partners /Italy, Germany, France/ in gas business. The pipeline will run across the bottom of the Black Sea from the Russian port of Dzhubga to Bulgaria's Varna. Also, two branches will run through the Balkan peninsular to Italy and Austria. The coordinates of the routes have not been endorsed yet.
Supposedly, the gas pipeline construction project will be finished in 2015. Its rated capacity is up to 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year. The estimated cost of the project is 8.6 billion euros.
The volume of investment in the Slovenian section of the South Stream gas pipeline will exceed 1 billion euro, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee Alexei Miller told reporters on Tuesday after talks between the prime ministers of Russia and Slovenia.
“The length of the section will be 266 km, diameter – 1,200 mm, there will be two compressor stations, the volume of gas to be delivered to Slovenia at the entry will be 24 billion cubic metres, and downstream of the pipeline in Slovenia towards Italy - 22 billion cubic metres of gas,” he specified.
The Investment decision on the offshore section of the South Stream gas pipeline will be made on November 14. On December 7, the construction will be launched, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee Alexei Miller told reporters on Tuesday.
In addition, on November 15 it is planned to sign the final investment decision on the Bulgarian section of the gas pipeline.
“On Wednesday, November 14, we are planning to take the final investment decision on the offshore section, on Thursday, November 15 – the final decision on the Bulgarian section, and on December 7, the construction of the offshore section of the South Stream project will be launched,” Miller said. He noted that the investment decisions should be taken by each country individually. Such documents have already been signed with Hungary, Slovenia and Serbia.
Referring to the issue of whether a contractor for the laying of the pipeline’s offshore section has been selected, the Gazprom CEO noted that “the contract has not yet been concluded.” According to him, Gazprom is in negotiations with companies that have already taken part in implementing similar projects for Gazprom. Miller also said that at a recent meeting with the CEO of the Italian company ENI Paolo Scaroni, the sides discussed the possibility of the Italian company’s participation in the project.