Anapa, Russia (ots) - Russian President Vladimir Putin marked the start of the South Stream Project today, through a symbolic welding ceremony during celebrations near Anapa, on the Russian coast of the Black Sea.
The event, named "South Stream - Welding the Partnership", celebrates the Russian-European cooperation that forms the foundation of the Project and marks the start of its implementation. In the past months, the most significant arrangements for both the offshore and onshore sections were concluded, such as the Final Investment Decision (FID) taken in November 2012 and the set-up of joint ventures for each section of the Project.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the occasion marked a truly important event for both Russia and Europe and he thanked and congratulated the partners involved in the South Stream Project. He noted that the pipeline will be built in accordance with strict environmental standards.
Attendees also included Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz, Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Lilyana Pavlova Nikolova, Hungarian Minister of National Development Zsuzsa Németh, Serbian Minister of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection Zorana Mihajlovic, Slovenian Minister of Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Zvonko Cernac and Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski. Other high-level officials and ambassadors from the countries involved in the South Stream Project were also present.
First Gas in 2015
The CEO of South Stream Transport B.V. Marcel Kramer underlined the merit of the cooperation: "Last month, our Shareholders agreed to take the Final Investment Decision for the South Stream Offshore Pipeline, confirming our objective to transport the first gas by late 2015. During times of economic uncertainty, this is a significant investment in reliable supplies of clean energy and in the European economy. To bring new energy into Europe in every sense of the word."
Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee said: "The start-up of South Stream construction - is indeed a historical event. The project embodies the intention of Russia and the countries of Southern and Central Europe to strengthen the partnership in the energy sector and to create a new reliable system of Russian gas supplies to European consumers. South Stream is a comprehensive infrastructure project that will provide a powerful impetus to economies of participating countries."
The South Stream Pipeline Project consists of several sections, spanning over 2,300 kilometers in total. It will transport natural gas directly from Russia to countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe. The 925-kilometre offshore section will start on the Russian Black Sea shore in the area of Anapa, cross the Turkish Exclusive Economic Zone in the Black Sea and land on the Bulgarian coast near Varna.
Sebastian Sass, Head of Communications & Spokesperson, South Stream
Phone: +41 (41) 769 23 66
For further information, please visit: www.south-stream-offshore.com.