BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)
Construction of the Nabucco pipeline project, which is to bring gas from Turkey to Europe, will start in 2010, one year later than previously scheduled, an executive of the building consortium said late Thursday.
"We recently had to reschedule" to "synchronize" with the output from a gas field in Azerbaijan and to do the environmental and social impact studies, said Reinhard Mitschek, managing director of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, on the sidelines of an energy conference in Brussels. The pipeline will then begin transporting gas in 2013 instead of 2012.
The planned 3,300-kilometer pipeline, which is to transport gas to Austria from Turkey, through Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria, is seen as an important strategic project that will reduce Europe's reliance on Russian gas.
Market observers and analysts have expressed skepticism over whether enough gas could be secured to fill the pipeline's annual capacity of 31 billion cubic meters.
The Nabucco consortium is owned by Austria's OMV AG (OMVKY), Hungary's MOL Nyrt. (MGYOY), Turkey's Botas, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz and Romania's Transgaz.
RWE AG (RWEOY), one of Germany's biggest energy companies, joined the consortium earlier this month.
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