GDF SUEZ joins Nord Stream project
As part of the French President’s visit Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom; Gerard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ; Bernhard Reutersberg, Chairman of the Executive Board of E.ON Ruhrgas AG; Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Wintershall Holding GmbH; Marcel Kramer, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Gasunie; and Matthias Warnig, Managing Director of Nord Stream AG signed an agreement today in Saint Petersburg on the entry of GDF SUEZ into the Nord Stream project.
This agreement is the Fifth Amendment to the Final Shareholders Agreement of Nord Stream AG. It regulates the terms and conditions for the entry of GDF SUEZ as the fifth shareholder into the company operating the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
As a result of the transaction GDF SUEZ will receive a 9 per cent stake in Nord Stream AG following the acquisition of a 4.5 per cent stake from each of the two German shareholders.
Nord Stream is a fundamentally new route for Russian gas export to Europe. Running across the Baltic Sea waters from the Portovaya Bay (near Vyborg) to the German coast (near Greifswald) the gas pipeline will stretch for approximately 1,200 kilometers. The first string of the gas pipeline with a capacity of 27.5 billion cubic meters per annum is projected to be commissioned in 2011. Construction of the second string to increase the capacity to 55 billion cubic meters will be finished in 2012.
The Nord Stream project is being implemented by Nord Stream AG, the joint venture set up for planning, construction and subsequent operation of the offshore gas pipeline. Stakes in Nord Stream AG are currently distributed as follows: Gazprom holds 51 per cent, Wintershall Holding and E.ON Ruhrgas – 20 per cent each, and Gasunie – 9 per cent.
On March 1, 2010 Gazprom and GDF SUEZ signed the Memorandum on additional supplies of Russian natural gas and on the entry of GDF SUEZ into the Nord Stream project.