Last week, the Nord Stream Pipeline was inaugurated. This new gas grid will directly bring natural gas to Germany, and Western Europe, via the Baltic Sea. It is planned to operate for at least fifty years. With Germany planning to gradually close its domestic grid of nuclear power plants, it looks like the Russian natural gas imports will be a major replacement. See? It never was about global warming...
The pipeline will be fully operational in the last quarter of 2012, when a second of the Nord Stream pipelines will enter service. By that time, the system will have the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year. "That compares with an export capacity of 150bcm annually for Ukraine's pipelines, Russia's principal supply line to the European Union."
With the Nord Stream Pipeline, Europe steps up into a more secure energy distribution environment because the West won't have to be the victim of frequent price quarrels between Ukraine and Russia.
"Alongside Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly which has a 51 per cent stake, the shareholders in Nord Stream are the German utilities BASF (through its Wintershall subsidiary) and E.ON with 15.5 per cent each, and the Dutch gas infrastructure company Nederlandse Gasunie, and France’s GDF SUEZ, with 9 per cent each."
Source: Nord Stream: turning on the tap
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