Russian energy giant Gazprom is ready to start construction of the South Stream pipeline in 2013, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The South Stream project is a new natural gas pipeline network that will connect Russia and the European Union via the Black Sea and the Balkans, bypassing Ukraine.
A meeting chaired by Gazprom's CEO Alexei Miller heard that the process of preparing all the necessary prefeasibility studies was well underway.
"The results of this work as well as the wealth of Gazprom's experience in planning and implementing large-scaled infrastructure projects enable us to start with the practical realization of South Stream in 2013," the statement said.
Earlier, it was announced that the technical and economic basis for South Stream's construction would be prepared by February 2011, and the pipeline would brought into operation by December 2015.
"We have no doubts about the efficiency, relevance and feasibility of South Stream," the statement quoted Miller as saying.
MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti)