Germany’s RWE Revises Nabucco Participation

Germany’s second biggest utility RWE AG is reconsidering its participation in the Nabucco pipeline consortium as part of its cost-saving strategy, the Wirtschaftsblatt paper said quoting the concern’s statement.

In mid-April, the company’s Chief Executive Jurgen Grossman said RWE had to reduce its debt burden and withdrawal from the Caspian Nabucco pipeline that bypasses Russia could save the company a substantial sum.

“In the changed circumstances with new gas pipeline projects in view, we are revising whether Nabucco will take our proposals into consideration,” RWE said on Saturday.

Nabucco is a rival project to the planned South Stream pipeline across the Black Sea bed that Russia’s Gazprom and Italy’s Eni are planning to build by 2015 bypassing Ukraine.

According to the Nabucco project, the construction of the pipeline is to begin in 2013 and gas is to be pumped from 2017.

“We remain convinced that Nabucco in its original version is the best option for all the sides,” the company said.

The project involves six companies Hungary’s MOL, Austria’s OMV Gas GmbH, Turkey’s Botas, Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz, Romania’s Transgaz S.A., and RWE, all with equal shares of 16.67%.

Late last month, Hungary’s MOL said it was ready to sell its share in the consortium over “too much ambiguity around Nabucco that is difficult to ignore.”

This could have sparked doubts in RWE over its own participation, the Spiegel weekly said.

In April, RWE’s Chief Executive Grossman said that the concern could change its plans regarding Nabucco. He said the company sought to pump Caspian gas to Europe in the required amount and would be glad to receive it from other pipelines with minimum investment.

The final decision on Nabucco is expected this year.


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