2010 'crucial' for Nabucco pipeline
The 7.9-billion-euro venture would feed billions of cubic metres of natural gas each year from the Caspian Sea to Europe and is due to start in 2014.Bucharest -- Next year will be "crucial" for the Nabucco gas pipeline project, which aims to reduce Europe's reliance on Russia, former German foreign minister and Nabucco consultant Joschka Fischer said Tuesday.
"2010 will be crucial to move ahead with Nabucco," Fischer said during a seminar on energy in Central Europe organised in Bucharest.
"There was some scepticism but now, with the July Ankara signature, the train has left the station."
The Nabucco pipeline is a 7.9-billion-euro (11.6-billion-dollar) venture to feed 31 billion cubic metres of natural gas each year from the Caspian Sea to Europe due to start in 2014.
An agreement to go ahead with the project was signed in July by German power giant RWE, OMV of Austria, MOL of Hungary, Transgaz of Romania, Bulgargaz of Bulgaria and Botas of Turkey.
"The gas is there," Fischer said, adding that supplies will come from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and northern Iraq.
"Iran is not an option, you never know what will happen there," he added after an Iranian official earlier said European firms were in talks for Iran to join Nabucco.
According to him, investment decisions will have to be made in 2010 and financing could come from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).