Turkey approves South Stream EIA

The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning of Turkey approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for South Stream's offshore section in Turkey.

The report contains the assessment of potential environmental impacts caused by the gas pipeline construction, including the seabed geology, water quality and marine ecology.

The document concludes that the project will have no considerable effect on the Black Sea environment or the regional fishing industry. In addition, the report proposes a number of measures aimed at eliminating or mitigating any environmental impacts of the project. For example, the gas pipeline bypasses certain locations of shipwrecks. Such measures are already incorporated in the design documents for the gas pipeline construction.

South Stream's offshore section will run at a distance of over 110km offshore Turkey at a depth reaching 2,200m. The first string of the offshore gas pipeline in Russia's territorial waters will be laid starting from late 2014. The first pipelaying vessel will enter the Turkish exclusive economic zone in the first quarter of 2015. The first offshore pipeline will be commissioned by late 2015.

South Stream's planned capacity is 63Bcm across the Black Sea to Southern and Central Europe for the purpose of diversifying the natural gas export routes and eliminating transit risks. At present, the gas pipeline construction is underway in Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia. First gas via South Stream will be supplied to European consumers in late 2015. The gas pipeline will reach its full capacity in 2018.

South Stream's offshore section is constructed by South Stream Transport, a joint project company with Russia's Gazprom (50%), Italian Eni (20%), Germany's Wintershall (15%) France's EDF (15%).

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