Rutte to join opening Russian gas pipeline

6th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

On Tuesday Prime Minister Mark Rutte will join other European government leaders in Germany to inaugurate the Nord-Stream pipeline that pumps Russian gas to Europe.

It’s thought the conduit will allow Europe to import an annual 55 billion cubic metres of Russian gas for at least 50 years. The amount is enough to supply some 26 million households and help Europe meet its growing energy demands.

The ceremony in Lubmin in northern Germany will be attended by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Russia’s state-owned Gazprom energy giant has a 51-percent stake in the Nord-Stream pipeline. German energy companies control 31 percent of the shares. France’s GDF Suez and Dutch state-controlled energy company Gasunie each have a nine-percent stake.

The pipeline will allow the Netherlands to remain a key energy supplier in Europe even as its own gas reserves are facing depletion. Holland intends to store the Russian gas underground and export it from there throughout Europe.

The 1,224 kilometre pipeline begins in the Russian town of Vyborg, half-way between Saint Petersburg and the Finnish border. cl

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide  

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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