Nord Stream is part of Russia's efforts to diversify natural gas export options to Europe. The project will consist of one line that by 2011 could carry around 970 billion cubic feet of gas per year. A second line planned for 2012 will double the capacity, which is enough gas to supply more than 26 million European homes.
The consortium said Tuesday it hoped to secure 30 percent of the financing for Phase II from shareholders Gazprom, BASF/Wintershall, E.ON, Gasunie and GDF Suez. The remaining 70 percent of the $3.5 billion needed for Phase II will come from senior debt.
"This project continues to enjoy a robust contractual and financial structure as well as a world class sponsor group with long term strategic interest in the project," Nord Stream Chief Financial Officer Paul Corcoran said in a statement.
The consortium announced Monday that a pipelay vessel has entered Finnish waters to build the first section of the 760-mile pipeline.