Dirk von Ameln, director of the Nord Stream project, admitted that the construction of a gas pipeline from Russia to Western Europe through the Baltic Sea would cost “substantially more” than the planned 5 billion euros. New figures are expected to be released in March. Supplies of “blue fuel” will begin in the spring of 2011.
A 1,200-kilometer pipeline along the bottom of the Baltic will connect Russian Vyborg with the cities of Greifswald in northern Germany. Construction should begin in 2009. The long-term goal of the project is to supply up to 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
The controlling stake (51%) of Nord Stream belongs to the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, the rest is shared between German companies BASF and E.ON and the Dutch Gasunie.
The project aims to become an alternative to the existing Russian gas supply routes to Europe. Poland and other countries losing revenue from gas transit strongly oppose the construction of the pipeline, calling it too expensive and dangerous for the environment.