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Macedonia expects to sign final agt on South Stream with Russia in Jan 2013

December 12, 2012, 22:33 UTC+3

Macedonia hopes to sign the final decision on South Stream with Russia in late January 2013

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SKOPJE, December 12 (Itar-Tass) —— Macedonia hopes to sign the final decision on South Stream with Russia in late January 2013,Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski said on Wednesday, December 12.

“We expect to get Russia’s reply and sign the agreement at the end of January 2013,” he said.

This will allow the two countries to set up a joint venture and then start building an extension from the pipeline to Macedonia.

The official ground-breaking ceremony for the South Stream gas pipeline took place in Anapa on December 7.

South Stream, which will be jointly built by Gazprom and ENI, will eventually take 30 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas a year to southern Europe. Analysts have said that the project will cost around 10 billion euro, or 15.82 billion U.S. dollars.

The project stipulates for the offshore gas pipeline section to run under the Black Sea from the Russkaya compressor station on the Russian coast to the Bulgarian coast. The total length of the offshore section will be around 900 kilometers, the maximum depth - over two kilometers and the design capacity - 63 billion cubic meters. There are two optional routes for the onshore gas pipeline section: either northwestwards or southwestwards from Bulgaria.

In order to feed the required amount of gas to South Stream, Russia's gas transmission system throughput will be increased through the construction of additional 2,446 kilometres of line-pipe and 10 compressor stations with the total capacity of 1,473 MW. This project has been named South Corridor and will be implemented in two phases before December 2019.

South Stream is scheduled to become operational in 2013. The 900-kilometre-long undersea section of the pipeline will run from the gas compressor facility at Beregovaya, on Russia's Black Sea coast, near Arkhipo-Osipovka, towards the city of Burgas, in Bulgaria. The sea's maximum depth on this route is 2,000 metres.

South Stream is a strategic project for Europe's energy security and should be implemented by the end of 2015. Work is currently underway to draft a feasibility study for the marine section across the Black Sea and the surface section running through transit countries.

The overall capacity of the marine section of the pipeline will be 63 billion cubic metres a year. Its cost is about 8.6 billion euro.

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