EU Commissioner regards Gazprom's proposal to German RWE on joining Southern Stream as "maneuver"
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 17 / Trend A.Badalova /
EU commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger named as "maneuver" the Russian Gazprom's proposal to the German RWE to take part in the Southern Stream project with design capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
"The offer is therefore a maneuver we should see as being part of the game, we should not see it as a possible change to the Nabucco fundamentals," Oettinger said in an interview to Deutschlandradio radio station. Trend received the text of the interview by e-mail from the company RWE.
Earlier, it was reported that Gazprom discussed South Stream with RWE top management last week and RWE has shown an interest in joining the Russian project. Later RWE reported that it remains committed to the Nabucco pipeline project despite its intention to review Gazprom's proposal to participate in the Russian South Stream project.
Regarding the potential withdrawal of RWE from the Nabucco project, Oettinger said "the separation is impossible".
Investment decision on Nabucco designed to deliver gas from the Caspian region and the Middle East to EU is expected to be taken in late 2010. This decision will allow to begin the construction of the pipeline in 2011, so that the first gas on it went in 2014.
Oettinger assured that the European Commission will do its utmost to remove obstacles in the implementation of the project. Oettinger expects the investment decision on the project to be taken by late 2010.
"I expect that all involved companies will make a decision about whether and to what extent will invest in the pipeline during the year," he said.
In April, the Nabucco consortium announced a pre-qualification tender for supply of durable goods (pipes, valves) for the construction of gas pipeline. Companies that will be responsible for the development of the national sections of the pipe have been established in transition countries, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria.
Oettinger said the European Commission as a matter of procedure discusses the details of future work with the entire transit countries of the Nabucco gas pipeline, whose maximal capacity will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year.
"I think that we will be able to reach a good decision by late 2010," he added.
Nabucco gas pipeline project is worth €7.9 billion. Participants of the project are Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE companies. Each of participants has equal share to the amount of 16.67 percent. Nabucco Gas Pipeline International shareholders will invest 30 percent of total cost of the project, the rest 70 percent will be paid owing to loans.
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