EdF and Gazprom sign MoU to participate in South Stream project

Nov 30, 2009 01:00 AM

French electricity group EdF and Russian gas company Gazprom have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the possibility of EdF participating in the construction of the offshore section of the South Stream pipeline.
Gazprom said that the details of EdF's participation in the project will be worked out jointly with Italian oil and gas group ENI, which currently owns 50 % of South Stream, the operator of the offshore section of South Stream project. ENI and Gazprom are currently joint partners in South Stream.

EdF is likely to obtain a 10 % stake in the South Stream pipeline, which is expected to become operational in 2015 and cost between EUR 19 bn and EUR 24 bn. South Stream will transport Russian gas into Europe, bypassing Ukraine.
According to Gazprom, the MoU states that EdF's entering the South Stream will foresee the conclusion of new long-term gas sales contracts. Following the MoU, Gazprom and EdF will also expand cooperation in the electricity sector in France and elsewhere.

Alexei Miller, chief executive of Gazprom, said: "We are gaining a new reliable and long-term partner in EdF. The participation of a French company in the South Stream project underscores the pan-European scale of the pipeline and is additional evidence of its tremendous importance for ensuring stable energy supplies to the continent."
"We are confident that South Stream, along with Nord Stream, which is being recognized by a growing number of European countries, will ensure the well-being of Gazprom's customers in terms of energy."

In order to diversify natural gas export routes, Gazprom plans to build South Stream gas pipeline across the Black Sea to the countries of South and Central Europe.

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