Russian President Vladimir Putin placed Gazprom Head Alexey Miller in charge of exploring the possibility of building another leg of theYamal-Europe pipeline through Belarus.
“With all the work on the Nord Stream and South Stream projects, we have all but abandoned the Yamal-Europe 2 project. Work on South Stream has begun and is gathering pace now. However, I’d like you to return to the Yamal-Europe 2 project too. I know that you are in active discussions with our partners on this. This project would increase reliability of gas supplies to Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary,” the Kremlin’s press service quotes Mr Putin as saying.
With the Nord Stream pipelines coming on line, the Yamal-Europe 2 project cannot simply be a copy of the Yamal-Europe 1 pipeline, the Russian leader stressed.
In his turn, Alexey Miller pointed out that Gazprom currently has ownership of the gas transport system [of Belarus], and that is why this is the most efficient route for them to deliver gas to their customers in Europe.
“Market analysis shows that we would be looking at a volume of around 15 billion cubic metres of gas. We have held talks at the corporate level with our partners in Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. We are ready to begin the preliminary feasibility studies and start work on the pre-investment phase,” miller believes. In his opinion, the project might be completed at 2018-2019.
Supplies to Eastern Europe would be more reliable, Miller stated. “In fact, reliability would be 100-percent guaranteed in this case because if we take Poland, for example, we would be delivering gas via Gazprom’s pipeline on the Polish border, and this would amount to essentially a transit-free route,” he said.