SOUTH STREAM: ON SCHEDULE
OAO Gazprom says the South Stream gas pipeline project is "progressing in strict compliance with the schedule."
From Russia, South Stream gas pipeline will cross the Black Sea to southern and central Europe.
"Only South Stream may offer now extra guarantees of energy security to Europe," said Alexey Miller, chairman of Gazprom's management committee.
Gas production will be delivered starting in late 2015. The pipeline is expected to reach full capacity of 63 billion cu m in 2018.
Gazprom said 8,500 jobs would be created in Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia in building and operating South Stream.
Gazprom said Bulgaria is expected to sign contracts "soon" for equipment procurement, installation, personnel training, and commissioning of a pipeline section. Similar activities are being carried out in Serbia.
Main construction operations in Bulgaria and Serbia are scheduled for this summer.
In Hungary, front-end engineering and design work is under way, along with spatial planning and environmental impact assessment (EIA) activities.
Spatial planning and EIA also are in progress in Slovenia. Bids to design the Slovenian section will be announced before the beginning of summer.
In Croatia, a draft contract and scope of work for devising project documentation are being negotiated.
The investment concept is being developed for constructing a gas branch to Macedonia.
Gazprom has also started examining the possibility of creating a gas pipeline section in Austria simultaneously with the Slovenian section.
The offshore pipeline laying will begin this autumn.
The Russkaya main compressor station, South Stream's starting point, will have installed capacity of 448 Mw. Work on the station will be completed this year.
Large-scale construction continues on the Southern Corridor gas trunkline system to feed gas to South Stream.