Nabucco pipeline starts detailed technical planning

Today's Zaman - Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, the consortium of international partners responsible for planning and constructing the Nabucco gas pipeline, has appointed the British company Penspen as owner's engineer for coordinating the detailed planning of the project. The Nabucco pipeline is a planned natural gas pipeline that will transport natural gas from Turkey to Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. It will run from Erzurum in Turkey to Baumgarten an der March, a major natural gas hub in Austria. The Nabucco project is one of Europe's most important projects for strengthening supply security for natural gas, as it contributes substantially to diversifying existing supply routes. The pipeline connects the large gas reserves in the Caspian region, the Middle East and Egypt with Europe. According to a press release issued yesterday on the 9 million euro tender: "The Nabucco project is reaching the stage of actual realization. With the commissioning of the owner's engineer, an essential milestone has been set for the pipeline project. The detailed technical planning has now started." The founding of the national Nabucco companies was another important landmark in 2007. "Four companies have already been founded, the fifth subsidiary in Turkey is in the process of being founded," the statement explained. The investment costs will amount to approximately 5 billion euros. When completed, the pipeline's annual capacity will be 31 billion cubic meters. The current shareholders are the Austrian OMV, the Hungarian Oil & Gas Company Plc (MOL), Transgaz, Bulgargaz Holding and the state-owned Turkish Pipeline Company (BOTAS).