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Nabucco official: pipeline project on track

By Messenger Staff

Tuesday, March 18
The Nabucco gas pipeline project is on track, managing director Reinhard Mitchek of Nabucco Pipeline International, the international consortium behind the project, said in an interview with the BBC World Service.

He said construction of the pipeline—which will take Central Asian and Middle Eastern gas to the heart of Europe—will begin in 2010 and the first gas deliveries will arrive in Austria in 2013.

Progress on the Nabucco project has been subject to much speculation recently, after Russia’s South Stream project—which aims to take Russian gas to Italy and Austria—began attracting countries already involved with Nabucco.

Hungary and Bulgaria both signed up to South Stream this year, and on February 7 French energy company Gaz de France announced plans to back South Stream too.

However, Mitchek emphasized that a sixth partner, German company RWE Gas Midstream, signed up to Nabucco on February 5.

“I would say Nabucco is on course, Nabucco is on time… We are convinced that we will realize the project and we are in a good mood,” Mitchek commented.

He also downplayed suggestions that progress on the South Stream project would hamper the chances of Nabucco being realized.

“I would say South Stream or other projects will not make Nabucco obsolete at all. If we consider the huge demand in Europe and the declining European indigenous production then we have to count on additional gas imports to Europe. To bring further gas to the European market centers we need new infrastructure, we need capacity and therefore, one pipeline to be realized makes not obsolete another one,” Mitchek said.