Gazprom and GDF SUEZ sign memorandum on additional gas supplies of Russian gas and GDF SUEZ's entry into Nord Stream
Gazprom, the listed, Russian gas company, issued the following statement today, 1 March:
Today in Paris and in the presence of President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and President of France Nicolas Sarkozy Gazprom Management Committee Chairman Alexey Miller and GDF SUEZ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gérard Mestrallet signed a Memorandum on additional supplies of Russian natural gas and on the entry of GDF SUEZ into the Nord Stream project.
The document specifies that the parties have started discussions about supplying to GDF SUEZ up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of additional gas per year from 2015. The supplies will be fulfilled via the Nord Stream.
Alexey Miller and Gérard Mestrallet also expressed their satisfaction with the progress made to finalize the deal under which GDF SUEZ will become a shareholder of Nord Stream AG with a share of 9 per cent in its capital before the start of the gas pipeline construction.
“The Nord Stream is a strategically important pipeline for Europe. The value of the project is difficult to overestimate, as it will be an additional guarantor of energy security for millions of consumers and give them confidence in the future. The Nord Stream is a good example of an offshore gas pipeline complying with stringent international environmental requirements. It has recently received the last approval needed to begin construction this April. Together with our counterparts from GDF SUEZ, we believe that the Nord Stream will not merely strengthen cooperation between our companies, but will also help develop the energy sector of the entire continent and be another factor in the success of the long-term Russian-French partnership in the gas industry,” said Alexey Miller.
“In the framework of Cross Year 2010, the year of Russia in France and of France in Russia, the agreement with Gazprom, our long-term Russian partner and the largest gas producer in the world, illustrates the high-quality relationship developed over the years. Furthermore, GDF SUEZ regards with high consideration this major industrial partnership with Gazprom. By entering Nord Stream AG and increasing its gas purchase from Russia, GDF SUEZ aims at contributing to Europe’s security of supply including North West Europe where the Group is one the major power producers and holds a large portfolio of final power and gas customers,” declared Gérard Mestrallet.
The Nord Stream is a fundamentally new route for Russian gas export to Europe. Going through the waters of the Baltic Sea from the Portovaya Bay (near Vyborg) to the German coast (near Greifswald) the gas pipeline will stretch for approximately 1,200 kilometers. The first Nord Stream string with a capacity of 27.5 billion cubic meters per year is projected to be commissioned in 2011. The construction of the second string of the gas pipeline will allow increasing gas capacity to 55 billion cubic meters.
The Nord Stream project is being implemented by the joint venture Nord Stream AG, set up for the planning, construction and further operation of the offshore gas pipeline. Stakes in Nord Stream AG are currently distributed as follows: Gazprom holds 51%, Wintershall Holding and E.ON Ruhrgas hold 20% each, and Gasunie holds 9%.