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Contract for South Stream Line 1 construction to be signed in March

Operator of the South Stream offshore pipeline construction, the South Stream Transport BV company, will sign construction contracts covering offshore pipe laying of Line 1 and supplying pipes for Line 2 before the end of the current month, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Tuesday, summing up results of the company's Supervisory Board meeting, which approved signing the above-mentioned documents.

Among other things, the contracts also envisage activities aimed at the development of landfall facilities and construction of offshore crossings necessary for all four lines of the offshore gas pipeline both in Russia and Bulgaria.

The South Stream marine section will embrace four parallel 931-kilometer lines, which will be located in a common pipe. It will run along the bottom of the Black Sea at a depth of more than 2,200 meters.

"Now, the South Stream project is in progress. Before the end of March, the contracts for the construction of the first line and for the delivery of pipes for the second line of the project's offshore part will be signed. Within two years, [Russia] will start supplying gas to Europe through a new route, which will be protected from transit risks," Miller said.

According to earlier Itar-Tass reports, Russia's pipe manufacturers received an order worth 500 million for the delivery of their products for the South Stream offshore gas pipeline's Line 1 construction. In particular, the Amalgamated Metallurgical Company will deliver 35% of the total order, which is being estimated by Russia's gas giant Gazprom at 1 billion. Moreover, Severstal company accounts for 15% of the order, while Germany's Europipe - for 50%.

The South Stream Offshore Gas Pipeline will be a gas transportation system, designed to directly connect European Union (EU) consumers to the world's largest gas reserves in Russia. It will deliver gas to the countries of Central and Southeast Europe. A key element of this system is a 930-kilometer underwater gas pipeline stretch through the Black Sea. The South Stream shareholders are Russia's Gazprom (50%), Italy's Eni S.p.A. (20%), France's EDF (15%) and Germany's Wintershall Holding GmbH (BASF Group).

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 11Mar14]

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