MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has officially initiated gas supplies to Crimea from continental Russia on Tuesday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.
The launch of the pipeline from the Krasnodar region to Crimea will ensure steady gas delivery for all types of consumers on the peninsula.
Putin participated in the ceremony via videoconference.
"This is one more important solution for Crimea’s development for the long-term perspective. I mean the delivery of Russian pipeline gas to the Crimean peninsula will make it possible to form an absolutely new situation in terms of developing the whole economic package, the development of social sector of Crimea and Sevastopol," Putin said at the ceremony.
The Russian leader congratulated all of the peninsula’s residents, and everyone who took part in the construction of the pipeline on this event.
Putin called today’s event an important step in the right direction for the peninsula’s development.
The president added that as part of the gas delivery project, two electric power plants each with a capacity of 470 megawatt will be built in Crimea in 2017-2018. This will fully meet the peninsula’s electricity demands.
Also, according to the President Putin, within four years 70 km of main lines and 2,500 km of inter-settlement lines and 8 gas pumping stations will be built or upgraded.
Putin pointed out the need to develop Crimea’s infrastructure according to schedule. "Together with regional, municipal authorities, federal agencies we will do our best to deliver gas to the final consumer as soon as possible," Putin said.
Head of Crimea Sergey Aksenov, Acting Governor of Sevastopol Dmitry Ovsyannikov and CEO of Chernomorneftegaz Igor Shabanov also took part in the ceremony via videoconference.
The pipeline’s total length is 358.7 km, including two lines crossing over Lake Tuzla and the Kerch Strait, as well as a gas pipeline branch to Simferopol which is 27.3 km long.
Putin announced the completion of work on linking up the Crimean gas transportation infrastructure at his annual news conference on December 23.
He noted that at the peak of the energy load in winter, Crimea consumes 1,200-1,300 megawatts of electricity. Earlier, electricity supplied from Ukraine provided 800 megawatts of this volume.
Currently, the peninsula’s own electrical generation is 1,000-1,100 megawatts, and with mobile power plants it has reached 1,300 megawatts. According to Putin, the two power plants with capacity amounting to 470 megawatts each will be constructed after the launch of Russian gas supplies to the region. As a result, Crimea’s total energy supply will be around 2,000 megawatts.