South Stream gas capacity to increase

Jan. 28, 2009 at 11:03 AM
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MOSCOW, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The planned capacity for the South Stream gas pipeline through the Balkans to Italy could be raised by 565 billion cubic feet per year, Gazprom said.

Alexander Medvedev, deputy chief of Russian energy monopoly Gazprom, said plans are in the works to increase the intended capacity for the Nord Stream pipeline, as well as the South Stream pipeline to Italy, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

"We are not only planning to launch the Nord Stream with a capacity of (1.9 trillion cubic feet) and the South Stream with (1.1 trillion cubic feet) capacity, but also to increase South Stream's transit capacity by another (565 billion cubic feet)," Medvedev told state television.

Gazprom, Germany's E.ON and BASF, and Dutch Gasunie are coordinating on the $12 billion Nord Stream project from Russia through the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea to Germany. The project is plagued by environmental concerns, however.

South Stream is expected to launch in 2013. Gazprom and Italy's Eni S.p.A. are coordinating on the project through the Balkans.

Both pipelines are seen as possible rivals to the planned Nabucco pipeline, which is seen as a means to diversify the European energy sector, which is dependent on Russia.

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