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  Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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Russia began on Friday the construction of the North European gas pipeline
Russia began on Friday the construction of the North European gas pipeline, which is going to be the largest in Europe. The first joint of the new gas pipeline was welded in the village of Babayevo, Vologda Region. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko, the President’s representative in the North Western Federal District Ilya Klebanov and Alexei Miller, head of Gazprom, attended the ceremony. The North European pipeline project will create an entirely new route for the export of Russian gas to Europe. The absence of transit countries is its characteristic feature. The pipeline will be laid on the bottom of the Baltic Sea, with lateral pipelines connecting the main one with the Kaliningrad Region, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Britain. The Yuzhno-Russky gas field, situated in the eastern part of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area, will be the main supplier of gas for the new gas pipeline. A total length of the pipeline will be 3,000 kilometres. It took several years to design the gas pipeline. The European Commission granted to it the status of a trans-European project in December 2000, and in November 2002 the European Commission and Gazprom reached agreement on the beginning of the implementation of the project. The presentation of the project was held in December 2002. It is planned to put the North European gas pipeline in operation in 2010. On the first stage it is planned to build one pipeline with a capacity of 27.5 billion cubic metres of gas a year. The project provides for the building of another pipeline and the bringing of their total capacity to 55 billion cubic metres. Total investments in the project will exceed four billion euros. Western Europe is the main market for Russian gas. A total of 140.5 billion cubic metres of gas were delivered there last year. Gazprom accounts for about one third of overall gas imports of Western Europe. The key importers of Russian gas are Germany (36.1 billion cubic metres in 2004), Italy (21.6 billion cubic metres) Turkey (14.5 billion cubic metres) and France (13.3 billion cubic metres). According to the information of Gazprom, Russia exports gas to 28 countries, including Germany, Italy, France, Turkey, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Finland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Bosnia, Macedonia, Britain, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Armenia and Ukraine.
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