Russia plans LNG plant near Black Sea: Putin
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Wednesday tasked the Russian government with building a liquefied natural gas plant on the Black Sea coast as part of its ambitious South Stream pipeline project.
"Please consider as a possible part of the ... South Stream project the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant on the Black Sea coast in Russia's southern region," Putin told Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko during a meeting.
"We understand that the construction of liquefied natural gas plants opens up for us new opportunities to diversify markets," Putin said in comments released by the government.
He did not provide further details on the plant. Russian gas giant Gazprom has ramped up investment in LNG, which is largely transported by ship, in the hope of opening up new markets in Asia and North America.
The 15.5-billion-euro South Stream project, designed to compete with the European Union's Nabucco pipeline that would reduce European dependency on Russian exports, would run 3,600 kilometers (2,250 miles) under the Black Sea and through the Balkans by 2015.
Shmatko said construction of the South Stream pipeline was well on track and a presentation was scheduled to take place in Brussels in mid-April.
© 2011 AFP