Gasunie to acquire stake in Skanled pipeline

Mar 17, 2009 01:00 AM

Dutch gas transport company Gasunie said it will join the consortium behind plans for the Skanled gas pipeline which would carry Norwegian gas to Sweden, Denmark and possibly on to Poland.
"Skanled's potential to enhance the diversity of supply in the North European region made us decide to join... in this phase," Gasunie boss Marcel Kramer said.

The final decision on Skanled is due to be taken later this year. With the Nordic industry hit hard by the global financial crisis, it is unclear whether the link will be commercially viable.
"Gasunie is a big player in European gas transport, with substantial expertise in this business," Gassco vice president Thor Otto Lohne said.

Gasunie replaces Swedegas and, in part, Goteborg Energi in the Skanled project consortium of eight companies. Meanwhile, Gassco said that more gas buyers of gas are needed to make Skanled economically viable.
"For the project to go ahead the owners have to be comfortable that there is a business case, with the right amount of buyers. And that remains to be seen," Lohne told.

Norwegian fertiliser group Yara International is about to drop out of a project t because of high prices.
"We are about to drop out of the project because of the gas prices offered are not competitive," spokeswoman Bente Slaatten at Yara told. "We can buy gas in Europe and take it by ship to (Yara's facilities in the southern Norwegian city of) Porsgrunn, and it's still a lot cheaper."

Yara's pullout would be another hit for Norway's Skanled, which has been struggling to gain enough buyers to justify building the $ 1.5 bn (EUR 1.1 bn) pipeline amid the economic slump.

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