The construction of the first line of the offshore section of the South Stream gas pipeline is set to start in the autumn, Dutch-based South Stream Transport BV, a joint venture established for the planning, construction and operation of the Black Sea section of the facility, said on Friday.
South Stream, spearheaded by Gazprom, aims to diversify gas routes within the European Union and to provide stable gas supplies from Russia to central and southern Europe. The offshore section of the pipeline is to pass through the economic zones of Russia, Turkey and Bulgaria. Intergovernmental agreements have been signed with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Austria and Croatia in order to implement the onshore gas pipeline section.
The offshore section of the South Stream pipeline will be made up of four parallel pipelines of 931 kilometers each.
This week South Stream Transport BV awarded a contract to Germany’s RMG Messtechnik for the supply of metering equipment for the landfall facilities in Russia and Bulgaria, the Dutch-based company said in a press release, adding that all arrangements for the first two offshore pipelines are in now place.
In the first quarter of 2014, South Stream Transport placed orders for the supply of more than 150,000 pipes for the first two pipelines. In addition, Saipem and Allseas were contracted for construction and offshore pipe laying services. Since January 2014, the company has also signed agreements with two Bulgarian ports for pipe storage, with Siemens for the supply of equipment for control of pipeline operations and with DNV-GL for the certification of the pipeline.
South Stream is planned to go live by the end of 2015 with a pipeline capacity of some 63 billion cubic meters per year.
South Stream Transport BV is controlled by Gazprom, which holds a 50% stake, with Italian group Eni controlling a 20% stake and French energy group EDF and German company Wintershall each owning 15%.