South Stream Transport AG Signs Contracts For Front End Engineering And Design, And For Environmental And Social Impact Assessments

Pipeline project through the Black Sea takes important step towards delivering natural gas in 2015

, Zug (Switzerland) | Yesterday South Stream Transport AG (Switzerland) has signed two new contracts for the implementation of its offshore pipeline through the Black Sea. The contract for Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) is with INTECSEA BV (Netherlands) and the Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) agreement is with URS Infrastructure & Environment UK Ltd. (United Kingdom). Both agreements are an important step in enabling South Stream Transport to start delivering natural gas from 2015 through the Black Sea.

"With these two contracts now concluded, the South Stream Pipeline through the Black Sea is taking another decisive step towards project execution. We believe we have found the right partners in INTECSEA and URS to help us meet our ambitious targets. Both companies have major expertise and knowledge to support us in a timely and efficient implementation of our offshore pipeline project," says Marcel Kramer, CEO South Stream Transport AG.

FEED to further specify the offshore project

The INTECSEA contract covers activities to be conducted during the FEED phase. These include the front end development of the offshore pipeline such as the project execution plan. Numerous pipeline routes through the Black Sea, as well as landfall options, have been assessed during the feasibility study stage. South Stream Transport will now conduct further studies in the FEED phase, to further develop, optimise, and define the offshore project. This process will culminate in tenders for both materials and installation contracts later this year.

Environmental and social studies form integral basis of the permitting procedure

In addition to setting up the fundamental development for the offshore pipeline, South Stream Transport focuses on satisfying the requirements of the countries through whose waters the pipeline will pass in order to construct and operate the pipeline through the Black Sea. The ESIA will form an integral part of the permitting process and will be completed in accordance with national, EU, and international law. It will also fulfil the requirements of the lenders who invest in the offshore project in the future. The ESIA contract with URS will identify and assess the project's potential environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural heritage impacts. The results will enable South Stream Transport to minimise the potential impacts of the offshore pipeline and keep the project's footprint to a minimum throughout its lifecycle.

South Stream Transport AG is established for the planning, construction, and subsequent operation of the offshore pipeline through the Black Sea. On 16 September 2011, OAO Gazprom, Eni S.p.A., EDF S.A., and BASF SE/Wintershall Holding GmbH signed the shareholder agreement for South Stream Transport AG. The pipeline is scheduled to start commercial operations by the end of 2015. South Stream Transport aims at a final investment decision and the start of construction by the end of 2012.