EDF joins with Eni and Gazprom in South Stream Project
In the presence of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, France's Electricite de France (EdF), the world’s largest utility and leading nuclear energy company, joined with Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Gazprom today joined as the third shareholder in the South Stream gas transit pipeline.
South Stream plans to transport 63 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas annually to Bulgaria, Italy and Austria and is part of Russia's efforts to cut dependence on transit nations, particularly Ukraine and Turkey.
The pipeline will account for approximately 35% of Russian natural gas supplies to Europe.
South Stream is a rival project to the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline, which is also intended to transport Caspian and Central Asian gas to Europe, but bypassing Russia.
Expected to commence operating in late 2015, South Stream will start from near the Russian port of Novorosiysk on the Black Sea coast to Bulgarian port of Varna with an underwater section of 900 km. RIA Novosti has a excellent map of the route.
Marcel Kramer, head of the N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie, has been named chairman of the board of directors and executive director of South Stream. Investment in the project is estimated at 25 million Euros ($32.8 million).
Russia is also building the Nord Stream gas pipeline to carry 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas annually to Western Europe under the Baltic Sea.
Source: RIA Novosti