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    ACCIDENT-HIT GAS PIPELINE SECTION IN SARATOV REGION TO BE FULLY REPLACED

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    SARATOV, MARCH 3 (RIA NOVOSTI) - The accident-hit section of the gas pipeline in the Saratov region (the Volga area) will be fully replaced, RIA Novosti was told by the Yugtransgaz company.

    It is the 14-kilometer-long section where an explosion happened last Sunday.

    The explosion damaged about 90 meters of the pipe and three taps on the line. Engels, a city of 300,000 people, and nearby districts were left without gas.

    To avoid repetition of such accidents, the leadership of Yugtransgaz, servicing the pipeline, have decided to overhaul the section. Overhaul will be over by Friday.

    Specialists say that the pipe was ruptured because the pipeline has been in service for 45 years. In the early 60s, actually all of the facilities of Yugtransgaz were put to use - over 7,000 kilometers of the gas transport trunk lines and pipebends. Today they are in need of updating.

    Last year 2.5 billion rubles (1 dollar approximately equals 29 rubles) were spent to update the trunk lines. This year the Gazprom company plans allocating another 5.5 billion rubles for the purpose, and over eight billion rubles in the next two years.

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