In Lubmin[i], Germany, Dmitry Medvedev and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel took part in the launch ceremony for the first leg[ii] of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
The launch ceremony for the new energy corridor was also attended by Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte and Prime Minister of France Francois Fillon, representing the countries that hold a stake in the Nord Stream pipeline operator, and EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.
Presidente Medvedev mentioned that they are going to launch the first leg of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which opens a new stage in our country’s partnership with the European Union.
For the first time Russian gas will be delivered to EU countries directly. The 1,224-km underwater pipeline passes through five economic zones in the Baltic region. Apart from Gazprom, the project involves the largest companies in Germany, the Netherlands, France and other states that have taken a very active part in it.
Natural gas from Russia and the energy produced from this gas will help to ensure reliable electricity supply to European consumers and thus strengthen energy security and improve the lives of so many people, which is probably what matters the most to all of us.
The project’s implementation was preceded by a difficult period of negotiations. but today everyone can see that this project’s objectives are absolutely viable and economical. We can say with confidence that the new pipeline will be the most advanced in the sector, particularly in terms of its impact on the environment.
The new pipeline is designed to meet the growing demand for the blue fuel. In the coming years with the launch of its second phase European consumers will receive up to 55 billion cubic metres of Russian gas annually, and this is certainly a very impressive figure.
Russia has always meticulously fulfilled its obligations in this area. We believe that this is our most important commitment. Even in the early 1990s, when the Russian economy was experiencing serious problems, we tried to work at full capacity and gas was supplied to Europe without interruption. We will continue to consistently increase energy cooperation with our European partners.
[i] Oficial Website of the President of Russia, http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/3042, 8 November 2011.
[ii] The Nord Stream twin pipeline system through the Baltic Sea runs from Vyborg, Russia to Lubmin, Germany. The Nord Stream route crosses the Exclusive Economic Zones of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, as well as the territorial waters of Russia, Denmark, and Germany.
Construction of Line 1 of the twin pipeline system began in April 2010, was completed in June 2011, and put in operation in the ceremony mentioned above, and construction of Line 2, which runs parallel to Line 1, began in May 2011. The second line is planned to come on stream in the last quarter of 2012. Each line has a transport capacity of roughly 27.5 bcm of natural gas per annum (http://www.nord-stream.com/about-us/)