Friday, 18 April 2014

Construction of Gazela gas pipeline starts in north Bohemia

ČTK |
15 October 2010

Brandov, Oct 14 (CTK) - Construction of gas pipeline Gazela started in the Ore Mountains (Krusne hory) in the north of Bohemia Thursday that should secure gas supplies to the Czech Republic via routes bypassing Ukraine and Belarus.

The 166-kilometre long gas pipeline will lead across the Czech Republic to Rozvadov on the Czech-German border in the west.

It will connect south Germany through Czech territory with the Nord Stream gas pipeline that will run at the bottom of the Baltic Sea from Russian town Vyborg to Greifswald in northeast Germany.

In Greifswald, gas from Nord Stream will be picked up by German pipeline OPAL which will lead to the Czech-German border near Czech town Brandov in the Ore Mountains in north Bohemia.

The interconnection of transit lines should reduce the risk to natural gas supplies stemming from occasional disputes between Russia and former Soviet countries which are traversed by the crucial Brotherhood gas pipeline.

"This (Gazela pipeline) is the third route through which gas flows to Europe, and it should in the future prevent such stoppages (in gas supplies) as those caused by disputes between Russia and Ukraine," Jan Nehoda from company NET4GAS which is building the pipeline told reporters Thursday.

The pipeline, whose costs are estimated to amount to EUR400m (around Kc9.8bn), will be completed in 2012.

The launch of the pipeline's construction was Thursday also attended by Czech Industry and Trade Minister Martin Kocourek (Civic Democrats, ODS).

"Opening new interconnections with our neighbours was among measures recommended in the recent audit of the Czech energy policy carried out by the International Energy Agency," Kocourek said.

"It is one of the goals of the government's policy statement and we have managed to launch the construction already after two months (after the statement was approved)," Kocourek added.

Gas will be transported through Gazela mainly to the Czech Republic and further to Germany, but the pipeline is designed in such a way to enable reversion of the gas flow.

Gazela's capacity is 30 to 33 billion cubic metres of gas a year. It is being built as a transit pipeline, which means that the Czech Republic will benefit from its operation in the form of transit fees.

The pipeline will also be connected to the current transit system of Net4Gas at four points and thus enable to supply gas to the Czech Republic as well.

Gazela is at present the biggest project of company NET4GAS (former RWE Transgas Net) which is part of German concern RWE.

NET4GAS focuses mainly on gas transit through the Czech Republic to other countries and gas transit within the Czech Republic to Czech suppliers.

NET4GAS now operates a 2,460-kilometre long network of high-pressure transit gas pipelines in the Czech Republic. The national system comprises 1,183 kilometres of gas pipelines.

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