MOSCOW, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom announced it set up a joint project company in Slovenia for the implementation of the South Stream natural gas pipeline.
Marjan Eberlinc, director general of Slovenian gas transmission system operator Plinovodi, went to Gazprom's Moscow offices to discuss bilateral efforts to build the South Stream pipeline through Slovenian territory. A joint project company, South Stream Slovenia LLC, was set up to implement that section, the Russian energy company said.
Officials signed a shareholder agreement to set up the project company on a parity basis in March 2011.
Russia aims to diversify its natural gas export routes to Europe through South Stream, which would move gas through the Turkish waters of the Black Sea to southern European markets.
Gazprom in 2011 supplied Slovenia with 18 million cubic feet of natural gas under the terms of a contract that runs through 2017.
First gas is expected from South Stream at the end of 2015.