Germany’s BASF on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding with Russia’s gas giant Gazprom to enter the South Stream pipeline project.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miler and BASF board chairman Juergen Hambrecht signed the document in the presence of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. BASF will hold a 15 percent share in the project; Gazprom will retain a 50 percent. The German company will complete its entrance into South Steam by the end of 2011.
“The move indicates stability and is crucial for the entire energy market,” Putin said.
The South Stream is designed to transport Russian gas to Europe under the Black Sea bypassing Ukraine. The capacity of the 900-kilometer pipeline, planned to become operational in 2015, is intended to eventually reach 63 billion cubic meters per year. Gazprom said in mid-June that it was ready to start South Stream’s construction in 2013.
Wintershall, the oil and gas subsidiary of BASF, holds a 15.5% stake in another major project by Gazprom, the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
NOVO-OGARYOVO (Moscow region), March 21 (RIA Novosti)