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18 Jun, 2015 11:36

Russia to construct new gas pipeline to Germany via Baltic Sea – Gazprom

Gazprom is planning to construct two threads of a new gas pipeline with a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year. Shell, E.On and OMV have been invited to participate, said the company. This could double direct supplies of Russian gas to Europe.

The four companies have signed a memorandum of intent to create the gas transportation infrastructure to ensure direct supplies of Russia gas to European consumers.

"The memorandum demonstrates the intention of the sides to construct the two threads of the pipeline from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to the coast of Germany. The capacity of the new pipeline will be 55 billion cubic meters annually," Gazprom said in a statement.

Given declining production in Europe, as well as a global increase in demand for gas, Gazprom, E.ON, Shell and OMV will shortly create a joint venture to implement the project intended to fill the demand gap, the statement added.

"This is an important step towards significantly strengthening the security of gas supplies to Central Europe, and increasing the role of Austria’s Baumgarten gas hub,” said Manfred Leitner, member of the executive board at OMV AG.“Our almost 50-year cooperation with Gazprom should contribute to the success of this undertaking, which will serve as a further diversification of energy supply routes to Europe,” he added.

Gazprom spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov told reporters the Russian company would retain 51 percent of the joint project and the route expected to follow that of Nord Stream. Nord Stream targets markets in Germany, France and the United Kingdom, among other EU members.

The construction of the 1,224-kilometer (760 miles) Nord Stream pipeline was launched in April 2010. Two strings of the pipeline have been operational since 2011 and 2012, with the annual gas throughput expected to be 55 billion cubic meters.The construction of the third and fourth strings of the Nord Stream pipeline is under consideration.

After signing an agreement of intent Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller is expected to hold a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, a government source told the Sputnik news agency.