LJUBLJANA, Slovenia, April 30 (UPI) -- An environmental impact assessment of the planned route for the South Stream natural gas pipeline in Slovenia is nearly complete, Gazprom said.
Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller met in Slovenia with Prime Minister Uros Cufer and other top officials to discuss the South Stream natural gas pipeline.
"Special attention was paid to the South Stream project implementation in Slovenia where the spatial planning and environmental impact assessment conducted under the national laws are nearing completion," Gazprom said.
Gazprom said it plans to start implementing the project in Slovenia by next year.
South Stream is designed for about 2.2 trillion cubic feet. Gazprom last year supplied Slovenia with 17 million cubic feet of gas through conventional transit arteries.
Gazprom said it started construction of South Stream in December. It's meant to avoid geopolitically sensitive territory in Ukraine, which delivers much of Russia's gas to European consumers through Soviet-era pipelines.
Gazprom added that Slovenia was mulling the designation of South Stream as a project of significant national interest.