Construction of 3rd Phase of Baltic Pipeline System May Begin Early in 2003

The construction of the 3rd phase of the Baltic Pipeline System may begin in the first quarter of the year 2003. This is according to Semyon Vainshtok, President of the Transneft petroleum transportation company.

Mr. Vainshtok said that, 'Early in December, President Vladimir Putin approved the beginning of third phase construction circumventing the second phase. Once completed, the third phase will increase the annual throughput capacity of the Baltic pipeline to 18 million tonnes. On December 30, our company handed the construction plans to the government for its consideration. We hope to receive a positive assessment of the plans and begin the work in the nearest future.' According to Mr. Vainshtok, the estimated cost of the third phase construction is USD 1.5 billion.

The project includes the laying of a new pipeline connecting Yaroslavl with the seaport of Primorsk via Kirishi. Also, the Ukhta-Yaroslavl pipe will undergo technological improvements.

The first phase of the Baltic Pipeline System was completed and began operational late in December 2001, having cost USD 460.2 million. Its annual throughput amounts to 12 million tonnes. The pipe carries oil from the Timan-Pechora gas-oil province, western Siberia, Urals, and Volga. As the pipeline system continues to develop, the throughput of the petroleum terminal at the seaport of Primorsk will also have to be extended.

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