ST.PETERSBURG, June 18. / TASS / The Turkish Stream construction through the Black Sea will begin in June-July 2015, upon obtaining permits from the Turkish side, said Energy Minister Alexander Novak in an interview with RBC TV channel on Thursday.
"We are waiting for a permit that is necessary to begin the exploration work in the exclusive economic zone of Turkey and Turkey's territorial waters, where the gas pipeline will lead directly to land. We expect that during the month of June, these permits will be given out, and the construction work on the section of the pipeline will begin. The plans are for end of June, early July," said Novak.
The Turkish Stream will serve as an alternative to the South Stream gas pipeline project abandoned by Russia in December 2014. The larger part of the Turkish Stream pipeline will run across the Black Sea and coincide with the South Stream route approved earlier.
Unlike the South Stream, which implied a large-scale infrastructure construction in Europe, the Turkish Stream project is limited to the construction of a pipeline under the Black Sea and a gas hub on the border between Turkey and Greece. The remaining part of infrastructure will have to be built by Gazprom’s European customers themselves.
Earlier, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said that the construction of the first stretch of the Turkish Stream would start in late June. The pipeline is scheduled to begin operation in December 2016, he said.
The Turkish Stream will have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, of which 47 billion cubic meters will be delivered to a new gas hub on the Turkish-Greek border. Gazprom Russkaya Company will be in charge of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline construction.