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Gazprom to invite more partners to build North European Gas Pipeline


MOSCOW, June 10 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom, Russia's natural gas monopoly, can invite more partners to build the North European Gas Pipeline (NEGP), the project that is currently involving Gazprom and Germany's BASF chemical concern.

"I believe the project can be implemented by two or three partners. We have a few options, and we will determine the final participants in the project shortly," Alexander Medvedev, a Gazprom Deputy Board Chairman, told a news briefing on Friday.

Medvedev recalled Gazprom intended to adopt an investment decision on the project in September 2005.

"The investment decision will be adopted in September. Among other things, it will contain natural gas sales figures. The volume of sales will be announced shortly," Medvedev said.

The NEGP is a special project for Gazprom, i.e. unlike other pipelines, it will not run via transit countries.

The pipeline will be laid down on the Baltic Sea's floor, from the seaport of Vyborg, on the inlet of the Gulf of Finland not far from St. Petersburg, as far as Germany's coast. A few branches will be built to deliver natural gas to consumers in Finland, Sweden, Britain, and other countries. The pipeline will be about 3,000 km long. Construction costs are estimated at about $5.7 billion.

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