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South Stream project relevant as never before

April 10, 2014, 0:00 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
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BRUSSELS, April 09 /ITAR-TASS/. The South Stream gas pipeline project is as relevant now as never before, Russian Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Wednesday, April 9.

“I think the relevancy of the South Stream project has increased against the background of the Ukrainian crisis because the Kiev authorities, including [parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseny] Yatsenyuk, have already dropped hints, which can become real at any moment, that they may disrupt the transit of Russian gas to the EU,” the diplomat said.

He reaffirmed that a round of consultations on South Stream had been held on April 8 by experts from Russia and the European Commission.

The South Stream Offshore Pipeline will run through the Black Sea from Russia to Bulgaria and have a total length of 930 kilometres. An environment impact assessment (EIA) in accordance with national environmental legislation is being conducted in Russia, Turkey and Bulgaria. In addition, South Stream Transport is undertaking an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in alignment with the standards and guidelines of international finance institutions. This will involve an ESIA Report for each Sector of the Project and a consolidated document for the entire South Stream Offshore Pipeline to ensure a consistent approach.

South Stream, initially conceived ENI and Gazprom, later joined by Electricite de France and German Wintershall AG, will eventually take 30 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas a year to southern Europe.

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 kilometres, the maximum depth - over two kilometres and the design capacity - 63 billion cubic metres. There are two optional routes for the onshore gas pipeline section: either northwestward or southwestward 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.

The construction of South Stream started on December 7, 2012 is scheduled to be completed by 2015. The overall capacity of the marine section of the pipeline will be 63 billion cubic metres a year. Its cost is about 16 billion euro.

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