Baltic Pipeline System Set To Reduce Transit Dependency
Published: April 11, 2006 (Issue # 1160)
PRIMORSK, Leningrad Oblast — The Baltic Pipeline System (BPS) has been launched to its full design capacity of 1.3 million barrels a day, RIA Novosti quoted Russia’s industry and energy minister as saying Friday.
“The facility is brilliant for Russian infrastructure in terms of all parameters,” Viktor Khristenko told journalists.
Earlier, Khristenko promised the pipeline, which vastly reduces Russia’s dependency on transit countries, would reach design capacity in mid-April.
The first stage of the BPS was opened in 2001 with a 240,000 bbl/d capacity.
The Baltic Sea port of Primorsk, which has also been expanded, is one of Russia’s biggest projects, coming in at an estimated cost of $2.2 billion. The port’s cargo turnover in 2005 was more than 50 million metric tons (1 million bbl/d) and the opening of new capacities will mean four tankers with a displacement of 100,000 tons each can be received simultaneously.
Khristenko said state-owned oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, which is the operator of the BPS project, had paid off almost all its loans attracted for the project, RIA Novosti reported.
“All investment, all the loans taken out for the project have been returned,” the news agency quoted him as saying.
President Vladimir Putin said the completion of the BPS was an important step for Russia and other countries in energy sector development, Interfax reported Friday.
“This is a major step forward in the development of the infrastructure which will increase Russia’s opportunities on the world markets and is a contribution to global energy security,” Putin was quoted by Interfax as saying at a meeting with Semyon Vainshtok, the head of Transneft.
(RIA Novosti, Interfax)