BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 3 (UPI) -- The consortium managing the Nabucco gas pipeline is working hard to finalize agreements with potential supplier nations, officials said in Azerbaijan.
Europe aims to build the Nabucco gas pipeline through Turkey to break Russia's grip on the natural gas sector. The project could move gas from Central Asian and Middle Eastern suppliers.
Stefan Judisch, the chief executive of Nabucco partner RWE Supply and Trading, writes for the Azeri news agency News.az that the consortium was working "intensively to get the project off the ground.
Despite widespread political support for the project, potential suppliers are slow to emerge. Judisch, however, said he was engaged in "fruitful discussions" with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan over gas supply contracts.
Egypt and Iraq have also been mentioned as potential suppliers to the Nabucco pipeline.
"This year, the members of the Nabucco consortium will make final decisions on financing and building the pipeline and construction is expected to commence from 2011," he said.
Austrian energy giant OMV, a member of the consortium, said earlier this year that Nabucco might not be built if there is a slump in demand. Nabucco is competing against Nord Stream and South Stream, two Russian projects that are making headway.