EU wants Gaz de France, RWE in Nabucco pipeline

The European Union has asked the five companies developing the Nabucco pipeline to allow RWE AG and Gaz de France to join the project, according to Bulgaria's economic ministry.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Oct. 18 -- The European Union has asked the five companies developing the Nabucco pipeline to allow RWE AG and Gaz de France to join the project, according to Bulgaria's economic ministry.

Johannes van Aartsen, the European Commission's Nabucco coordinator, visited Sofia Oct. 16 to start talks on bringing new partners on board, the ministry said in a statement. Initially the Nabucco consortium was seeking one partner, but it is willing to consider two. An announcement on the discussions is expected by the end of the month.

Nabucco is a major, 31 billion cu/year gas pipeline project designed to help the EU diversify its gas supply sources by importing gas from the Caspian Sea area and the Middle East as well as Russia. Operations are scheduled to begin in 2012.

One consortium member, OMV AG of Austria, has begun discussions with Azerbaijan regarding supplies for the $6.5 billion pipeline (OGJ Online, Sept. 20). Without firm gas commitments, financing for the pipeline would be difficult.

The other partners are MOL Rt. of Hungary; Botas of Turkey; Bulgargaz, Sofia, Bulgaria; and Poland-based Transgaz SA.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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