Nord Stream starts roll out of EU gas surety

The construction launch ceremony for the Nord Stream pipeline, which will supply Russian gas to Germany through the Baltic sea, has taken place at Vyborg.

A long awaited window to Europe: the start of construction of the Nord Stream pipeline, which will supply 25% of Europe’s external gas needs within 2 years.

Unlike other consumers of Russian gas – Europe’s concern is not the price but ensuring the volumes are there. Although demand has slumped, the EU expects it to recover to pre-crisis levels in about 4 years.

Aleksandr Medvedev, Director General of Gazprom Export, says demand is certain.

“For all the natural gas volumes destined for Nord Stream we have either contracts or binding agreement. Of course sometimes there is a long way to go from a binding agreement to a full contract but that's not the case with us.”

The first leg of Nord Stream is being laid out at sea, with several ships working simultaneously towards Russia. The company expects to complete the project on time and within budget.

The financing of the project is $9.86 billion: the first phase complete, the second to be raised this summer according to Dr Rainer Seele, Chairman of Wintershall

“The financing for the first line we have already settled with the financial markets. And the second pipeline – the financing we will do over the summer.”

To put that in perspective, Nord Stream will spend up to $17 million each day on the construction of every 2.5 kilometres, to be completed by September of 2011.

Portovaya compression station will the start of the long journey for Russia’s gas on the way to Europe, with the project becoming a flagship for the new generation of gas infrastructure projects.