Dutch climb aboard Nord Stream project

  • 2007-11-07
  • By Mike Collier

MOSCOW -- Dutch gas infrastructure company N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie hasagreed terms with Russian gas monopoly Gazprom about participating in theconstruction of the proposed Nord Stream gas pipeline, according to a Gazpromstatement.

Gasunie will join Gazprom and German companies E.ON Ruhrgas andBASF/Wintershall as a participant in the pipeline project. Nord Stream was setup for the planning, construction and operation of a new offshore gas pipelinefrom Vyborg (Russia) to Greifswald (Germany). Gasunie will get a 9 per centstake in the joint venture. Gazprom will keep its 51 per cent stake and theGerman companies E.ON Ruhrgas and BASF/Wintershall will hold 20 per cent each.E.ON Ruhrgas and BASF/Wintershall will each cede 4.5 per cent to Gasunie.

Matthias Warnig, Nord Stream Managing Director said: "Nord Stream AGwelcomes the agreement between Gazprom and Gasunie and looks forward to its newDutch shareholder. As a company specialising in gas infrastructure, Gasuniewill make an essential contribution to our goal of securing Europe's futureenergy supply."

Marcel P. Kramer, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Gasunie said:"Gasunie's participation as a fourth partner underlines the broad Europeanscope of this important infrastructure project."

As part of the deal, Gazprom gains an option to acquire a 9 per cent stakein the Balgzand-Bacton-Pipeline (BBL) owned by Gasumie and which connects theGasunie grid with the UK. If Gazprom decides to exercise its option, it wouldbe able to transport gas all the way from Russia to the UK.

Gasunie will also contribute its technological expertise to the pipelineproject. The company has over 40 years experience in the construction andoperation of pipelines, such as the recently completed BBL pipeline, of which230 kilometres run offshore, under the North Sea.