Countries Joined by Pipeline Welding
Work on South Stream pipeline leg through Serbia begins by welding the first two pipes together for Russia and Serbia
The formal start of the work on the South Stream pipeline section in Serbia began on Sunday in Šajkaš, near Novi Sad,.
The full extent of the work will begin in February 2014.
From Belgrade, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić gave the signal through a video link to start the welding. South Stream Serbia Technical Director confirmed earlier that everything was ready for the start of the construction.
One of the two pipes welded had a Serbian flag on it and the other a Russian. Definitely a political and diplomatic approach to gas pipeline in Eastern Europe as two men welded the pipes together, one from each country.
South Stream is one of the biggest investments in Serbia, worth more than EUR 1.9 billion.
A joint venture, South Stream Serbia, will construct the pipeline section in Serbia. Srbijagas owns 49 percent of that company, while Gazprom owns 51 percent.
Construction will take two years. The pipeline is scheduled to become operational in 2016.
Gazprom deputy director Aleksandr Siromyatin said in Belgrade on Sunday that the South Stream pipeline will start supplying gas to consumers by the end of 2016.
After a ceremony marking the start of the construction of the South Stream section through Serbia, Siromyatin told reporters the work on the Black Sea section started in 2012, and that the part going to the Bulgarian border will be finished in the second quarter of 2014, so the gas would reach Bulgaria by the end of 2015.
The selection process for the contractors and project work is still ongoing in Hungary, while the evaluation of the pipeline’s environmental impact is being conducted in Slovenia, he said.
It means that the pipeline should supply gas to all of its consumers by the end of 2016, he remarked.
The profitability of building a pipeline section to Kosovo and Macedonia has not been confirmed yet, but the issue will be reviewed once that it is determined the project would be profitable, he said
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