Gazprom’s final Nord Stream II plans may be announced September 3-5, as the Russian gas giant anticipates signing binding shareholder agreements at the economic forum being held in Vladivostok, according to Russian business daily Kommersant.
A direct pipeline from Russia to Germany that at present delivers 24 billion cubic meters of gas via the Baltic Sea, Nord Stream will gas to markets in Germany, Netherlands, France, Denmark, and someday Britain if a new branch is added in the future. In the next ten years, Europe will increase gas imports by about 200 billion cubic meters, or more than 50 percent. According to Gazprom, Nord Stream will satisfy about 25 percent of the additional need.
The expansion of the Nord Stream was announced in June 2015 and Anglo-Dutch Shell, German E.ON and Wintershall, and Austrian OMV have already been named partners. Gazprom will own a 51 percent stake in the project.
Dutch Gasunie and the French energy concern Engie (formally called GDF Suez) which were both partners in the first two Nord Stream lines, have not yet been tapped for the project, but may be.
Any agreement made at the summit will be legally binding and set construction dates and the project schedule.
The two expansions of Nord Stream are expected to be complete by the end of 2019 and 2020, according to E.ON, Germany’s top energy utility. Since the pipe runs directly from Russia to Germany, and two of Germany’s two largest energy utilities are involved, analysts expect the project to be expedient and problem-free.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller estimates construction of the second part of Nord Stream will cost around €10 billion.