Friday, March 23, 2007

Romania: Transgaz criticizes Nabucco project

09:42 - 23 March 2007
The planned Nabucco pipeline that should carry gas from the Caspian Sea region to Europe was started as an economic project but has gradually turned into a political one, Transgaz Medias General Manager Florin Muntean said, Nine o' Clock reports.
‘The Nabucco started as a commercial project but has grown into a political one, and tat is the reason for the delays in execution’, Muntean stated during the hearings within the Committee for Industries and Services in the House of Deputies, investigating into the work of the Ministry of Economy and Trade. The consortium that is constructing the gas pipeline is negotiating the affiliation of a new shareholder. ‘Turkey opposes bringing a new shareholder (…).

Talks are being held with another company that is on a list of prospective project shareholders’, said Muntean. At the middle of March, the Bulgarian company Bulgargaz was informing that Gaz de France was negotiating the possibility of becoming the sixth shareholder in the Nabucco consortium.

Companies Bulgargaz, Transgaz, OMV (Austria), mol (Hungary) and Botas (Turkey) plan to deploy a pipeline designed to carry natural gas from Iran and from the Caspian region to Europe, within a project evaluated at EUR 4.6 bln.

Florin Muntean indicated that Transgaz would invest between RON 180 and 200 M in developing the natural gas transportation networks. ‘In 2007 we shall allocate between RON 180 and 200 M for development and other funds for modernizing older networks.

Even if some of the pipes are old, they do not pose a risk because they are regularly inspected, checked and cleaned’, added Muntean. Transgaz will develop its network in the County of Bihor, around Bucharest and in North Moldavia.

The state owns 85 per cent in the share capital of Transgaz, in the value of Ron 103.83 M, having ceded 15 per cent to the Proprietatea Fund. The company stocks wait trading on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.

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