Ukraine can Reduce South Stream Construction Cost by 80 Percent

Sep 19, 2011, 05:42 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, September 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

The President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych claims that the cost of the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline will decrease five times - from EUR 25 billion to EUR 5 billion - if the pipeline runs through southern Ukraine. Currently, the pipeline is designed to go through the Turkey's waters of the Black Sea.

During his opening speech at the Yalta European Strategy 8th Annual Meeting on September 16, 2011, the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych suggested that if South Stream pipeline ran through the dry-land in southern Ukraine instead of the Black Sea seabed in the Turkish waters its construction cost could have been decreased five times. "This project will cost much less than the currently discussed EUR 25 billion South Stream. Ours will be five times cheaper," said President Yanukovych.

Many experts have already voiced their opinion that the South Stream gas pipeline project is not viable. "It is a political pipeline designed to counter Nabucco [gas pipeline located in the same area as the South Stream and backed by several EU countries and the USA]," said Alan Riley from London's City University in his interview for the SETimes.com.

The South Stream is set to start transporting Russian natural gas via the seabed of the Black Sea to Bulgaria and further on to Greece, Italy and Austria by 2015. Its transfer capacity is estimated at 63 billion cubic meters per year.

Presently, Ukraine, being the primary transporter of Russian natural gas, is responsible for 80 percent of gas transit to Europe. The output capacity of the Ukrainian national pipeline network to Western Europe alone is 142,5 billion cubic meters. In 2011 Ukraine is set to transport 112 billion cubic meters of gas.

Lately, Russia is trying to decrease its dependency on the Ukrainian gas transporting system. The first line of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which connected Russia and Germany, became operational on September 6, 2011. The capacity of the EUR 8,8 billion line is 27,5 billion cubic meters of gas. Ukraine, on the other hand, is working on improving its reliability as a transit partner for Europe and Russia. The country is restructuring its gas transporting system according to the European standards and reducing domestic gas consumption.

 


SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine