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Nord Stream construction begins

Oilfield Technology,

Construction of the long-anticipated Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany via the Baltic will officially get underway on 9th April, the consortium said Tuesday.

Following years of detailed planning and intensive preparations, Nord Stream is entering a new and exciting phase of its development - construction. The laying of the pipeline from Russia to the EU across the Baltic Sea is starting at the beginning of April. To mark the occasion, there will be an official ceremony at the Russian town of Wyborg, on the border with Finland.

The Castoro 6 pipelay vessel has arrived in Swedish waters. She is now moored off the coast of the island of Gotland, at a point located about 675 km from the pipeline’s starting point near Vyborg, Russia, and 550 kkm from the end point at Lubmin near Greifswald, Germany. Laying of the first section of the Nord Stream Pipeline will start here after the equipment of the Castoro 6 has undergone some final checks and fine tuning and crew has been flown in.

The construction of the 1224 km pipeline, at a projected cost of E7.5 billion (US$ 10 billion), comes after the final financing component, a E3.9 billion loan to Nord Stream from 27 banks, was recently agreed.

The pipeline will stretch from Wyborg to the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, and is to go on stream by the end of 2011.

It is designed for an initial throughput of 27.5 billion m3/yr of gas, with this to be doubled after the first year of operation.

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