SOUTH STREAM WILL
The first 30 kilometres of the South Stream pipeline section will be laid through Serbia before the end of the year, the director of Serbia's state-owned gas provider Srbijagas, Dusan Bajatovic, said on Thursday.
"This is the project of geo-strategic importance, primarily for energy stability and security in the EU. It has no alternative in the medium term and even in the long term. This is why South Stream will be completed on time despite the Ukrainian crisis," Bajatovic said, adding that there was "no reason to suspend the project".
Minor corrections have been made to the project to redirect the route in Vojvodina from Italy to the Austrian city of Baumgarten, the biggest gas storage facility in Europe.
"At present, the third section of the pipeline is being prepared for construction," Bajatovic said.
South Stream is a strategic project for Europe's energy security and should be implemented by the end of 2015. 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.
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.
South Stream is Russia's Gazprom global infrastructure project for the construction of a gas pipeline that will run via the bottom of the Black Sea to the countries of Southern and Central Europe with the aim to diversify routes for exporting natural gas and exclude transit risks.
The offshore section of the pipeline, which will run in part along the seabed and reach the maximum depth of 2,200 m, will be 931 km long. Each of the four parallel strings of the pipeline will consist of 75,000 pipes, each 12 m long, 81 cm in diameter, 39 mm thick and weighing 9 tonnes.
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