By Arslan Abbasov
Nabucco West has concluded the negotiations on the shareholder agreement with the partners of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas field development, Managing Director of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH Reinhard Mitschek said in interview with journalists in Baku on June 5.
"The shareholder agreement is in place," Mitschek said. "It is finalized. As soon as the options are exercised by the Shah Deniz consortium, it will come into force."
Mitschek expressed the confidence that Nabucco West will be selected as the final European pipeline route by the Shah Deniz consortium at the end of June.
"I am confident that Nabucco West will be selected because it provides the best solution and the most attractive concept for the Shah Deniz consortium, for the sellers and for the buyers," Mitschek said.
According to Mitsckek, one of the main advantages of Nabucco West is that it can also provide gas to the countries of its competitor - Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), while TAP cannot provide gas to the countries of Nabucco West.
"We can offer gas transportation also for Greek companies, Albanian, Italian companies, because of the inter-connectors either already existed or planned from Bulgaria to Greece, from Bulgaria to Serbia, Macedonia and etc.," Mitschek said.
Mitschek also stressed that in recent months Nabucco West project had tremendous success and progress.
"The recent signing by GDF SUEZ a share purchase agreement is very important step for the Nabucco consortium," he said. "The company now is in the process of becoming a shareholder of the project."
GDF Suez will join OMV (Austria), FGSZ (Hungary), Transgaz (Romania), BEH (Bulgaria) and BOTAS (Turkey) as a shareholder in Nabucco.
TAP and Nabucco West, are currently competing over transportation of Azerbaijani gas to the European markets. The gas which will be produced within the second stage of development of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field is considered the main source for these pipeline projects.
Nabucco West would require the construction of 1,300 kilometers of the pipeline (Bulgaria - 412 km, Romania - 469 km, Hungary - 384 km, Austria - 47 km) from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Baumgarten in Austria.
The TAP project is designed to transport gas from the Caspian region via Greece and Albania and across the Adriatic Sea to the south of Italy, and further to Western Europe. TAP's initial pipeline capacity will be 10 billion cubic meters per year, but it is easily expandable to 20 billion cubic meters per year. TAP's shareholders are Switzerland's AXPO (42.5 percent), Norway's Statoil (42.5 percent) and Germany's E.ON Ruhrgas (15 percent).
Nabucco development in Romania moving ahead
The law concerning measures necessary to develop the Nabucco gas pipeline has been promulgated by Romanian President Traian Basescu, qualifying the project as being of national interest and public utility in Romania, the Nabucco consortium reported.
"The law addresses and clarifies measures needed in diverse fields relevant to the implementation of the Nabucco project: environmental, regulatory, land ownership and access, as well as other technical issues. The so-called 'Nabucco Special Law' further consolidates the regulatory framework surrounding the Nabucco Project," the press-release said.
The law was adopted by the Romanian parliament on May 21.
"We welcome the approval of this law, which further demonstrates the political support, and the watertight legal and regulatory framework enjoyed by the project. Nabucco continues to move ahead in terms of legal and political support, as well as in terms of technical and engineering works," Reinhard Mitschek said.
According to Mitschek, Romania is also well on the way to becoming the third country to complete Environmental permitting for the project, after Hungary and Bulgaria.
"We continue to work to ensure that when Caspian gas is ready to be transported to Europe, Nabucco is ready to receive it, " Mitschek said.
The Nabucco National Company in Romania has also announced the successful completion of public hearings for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) permitting procedure in the country. The public hearings were organized between May 8-15 in 24 settlements located in the five counties crossed by the Romanian section of the Nabucco pipeline.