The State Expert Review Commission reached a positive conclusion regarding the Design Documentation for the Russian Sector of the South Stream Offshore Pipeline.
This concludes the final stage of the review process for the Design Documentation, which also includes the environmental impact assessment for the Project in Russia.
Experts undertook numerous surveys of animal and plant life in the Black Sea and at the Anapa landfall and assessed the potential environmental impacts of the pipeline construction and operation. They proposed numerous measures to avoid or mitigate any negative impacts, as a result of which the Project is not expected to have a significant impact on the environment. Most of the identified effects on the environment will be associated with construction works and are expected to be temporary and minor after mitigation measures are put in place.
“This is a significant milestone for the Project and a testament to our efforts,” says Dr. Oleg Aksyutin, CEO of South Stream Transport. “We have worked over 2 years on the design and construction plans of the offshore pipeline to ensure that the pipeline will be safe and not a burden for the environment or the people in the vicinity.”
South Stream Transport said in a press release that it performed an EIA in accordance with Russian requirements and is undertaking an additional Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in line with guidelines of international finance institutions.
The South Stream Offshore Pipeline through the Black Sea is the offshore component of the South Stream Pipeline System which will increase direct supply of natural gas from Russia to Central and South-Eastern Europe as it creates a new supply route and provides additional capacity. The Project will contribute to European energy security in a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible way and will help the EU member states meet their CO2 reduction targets. The South Stream Offshore Pipeline will have a length of approximately 930 km. It will connect the world’s largest natural gas reserves in Russia with consumers in the European Union. The South Stream Offshore Pipeline will originate on the Russian Black Sea shore in the area of Anapa, cross the Turkish Exclusive Economic Zone in the Black Sea and land on the Bulgarian coast near Varna.
Commercial operations are scheduled to start by the end of 2015. When fully operational, the South Stream Offshore Pipeline will consist of four pipeline strings and reach an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic metres.