NABUCCO Gas Pipeline International, the project developer, announced on Monday the open season process for capacity booking in the Nabucco gas pipeline project.
In this stage, potential shippers can provide non-binding bookings in the project that is backed by the state-owned gas companies of Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, along with Austrian OMV and Hungarian MOL. Shippers will be able to submit binding bids starting Q3.
Photo courtesy of nabucco-pipeline.com
Reinhard Mitschek, CEO of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, said: “As development of the Nabucco project continues, we are pleased to be able to announce the achievement of this highly significant milestone. Once constructed, the Nabucco pipeline will offer producers and shippers access to the growing markets of South Eastern and Central Europe, as well as augmenting their access to the Central European Gas Hub at Baumgarten.”
Frank Siebert, CFO of NABUCCO Gas Pipeline International, commented there will be a high level of interest in the current phase of the Open Season process.
The Nabucco project aims to tap Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas fields, which is operated by an international consortium of gas companies. The consortium is expected to choose by summer between Nabucco West and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), another European project designed by gas majors in Switzerland, Norway and Germany.
Nabucco is also competing with South Stream, a project that is supported by Russian Gazprom, Italian Eni, German Wintershall and French EDF.
Nabucco’s developer says this is the sole project that enables direct access to the Balkan markets, also reaching Italy and Greece.
The EU is expected to decide this summer, which of the two competing pipeline projects (Nabucco and TAP) will cut Europe’s reliance on Russian gas. Romanian PM Victor Ponta recently said that EU ministers are set to agree in June on the Nabucco pipeline project.
Under the Nabucco project, Romania and Hungary will serve as in-country control centers. The main control centre will be based in Austria, while the sub-control centre will be located in Bulgaria.