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Russia, Italy Grant France's EDF Up to 20% of South Stream

Date: 26.04.2010

French energy company Electricite de France may have a share of up to 20% of the South Stream gas transit pipeline, Russian PM Vladimir Putin announced.

Putin met Monday with his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi prior to a summit at Villa Gernetto in Lesmo near Milan, Italy.

“PM Berlusconi and I have agreed that France will become part of the South Stream project, and the agreement for that will be signed in St. Petersburg in June,” said the Russian Prime Minister as cited by RIA Novosti. Thus, France’s EDF will become the third partnering company in the project together with Russia’s Gazprom and Italy’s Eni.

Putin assured the media that there are no delay on the execution of the South Stream pipeline which will transfer Russia gas to Italy via the Black Sea and Bulgaria as well as several other Southeast European states.

The Russian PM reminded that over the weekend Austria signed an agreement to join the project, which has completed the legal base for the pipe with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, and Croatiaalready become part of it.

The Black Sea section of South Stream, which will bridge the Russian and the Bulgarian coast, will be 900 km long, and will have a transit capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of gas. Once completed, the South Stream pipe is supposed to be used for 35% of the Russian gas transfers to Europe.

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