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“The project will help diversify routes of gas supplies that will allow reducing transit risks,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Bulgaria’s Focus News Agency on Monday.
“Russia, European consumers, including Bulgaria, will benefit,” he said.
“We know that the European Commission has its view on the construction and further functioning of the gas pipeline within the EU Third Energy Package,” Lavrov said.
“The EU legislation should not hamper the implementation of the agreements,” Lavrov said.
Russia will continue promoting the South Stream project. “We cannot allow Europe to be used to any advantage,” Lavrov said.
Moscow is ready for a constructive dialogue on this issue with all parties concerned. “Russia and the EU set up the South Stream working group in January. Within the group experts have started working out possible solutions. Earlier, we proposed to sign a special document that will regulate principles for functioning trans-border energy infrastructure. A draft document has been prepared and submitted to Brussels,” he said.
“We’re confident that the EU countries, involved in the project, should play a more active role in the Russia-EU dialogue,” Lavrov said.
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 meters. There are two optional routes for the onshore gas pipeline section: either north-westwards or south-westwards 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 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 per year. Its cost is about 8.6 billion euro.