Gazprom Chairman: North-European Pipeline Project to Get Go-Ahead by End of Year

The construction project for the North-European Gas Pipeline will pass all consultation processes, including environmental ones, by the end of 2003, according to Gazprom chairman Alexei Miller. He was speaking today to journalists about talks with Leningrad Regional Governor Valery Serdyukov. According to Miller, the technical and economic foundations for the project have already been drawn up, and constructions is planned to begin in 2005.

Construction of the pipeline is to be partly financed by loans from the EBRD and the European Investment Bank (EIB). During November and December 2002 Alexei Miller held a series of talks about the possible involvement of a number of European countries in carrying out the project. In particular, he held negotiations with Matti Vuoria, the chairman of the board of Fortum (Finland) and British Energy Minister Brian Wilson.

The construction project envisages the pipeline being laid along the Baltic Sea floor to Europe, with undersea taps being constructed to supply gas to the Kaliningrad Region, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. The project is also intended to supply gas to the UK. The pipeline will directly connect Russia's gas transportation system with the European gas network. Initially the pipeline will be supplied by the Nadym-Pur-Tazovsky field (in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District), and in the future by the Ob-Taz Bay field (in the Yamal area) and the Shtokmanovsky field. Natural gas supplies are planned to begin in 2007, with full capacity being reached in 2009. The total cost of the project is approximately USD 6 billion.

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