17:46 GMT +317 October 2017

    Baltic pipeline system capacity to be increased by Dec.

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    MOSCOW, November 13 (RIA Novosti) - Transneft [RTS: TRNF] is planning to complete work in late November to increase the capacity of the Baltic Pipeline System (BTS) to 74 million metric tons a year (1.5 mln bbl/d), the Russian pipeline monopoly's president said Monday.

    Russia launched the BTS at design capacity in April. The system supplies Siberian oil to the Primorsk terminal bordering on Finland, for export to Europe and the United States. The system's current capacity is 65 million tons.

    Semyon Vainshtok said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, "We must prepare for a capacity increase to 74 million tons a year."

    The Transneft president said the project - which is being implemented in line with the country's energy strategy to develop pipeline infrastructure on its coastline and export oil and petroleum products by sea, reducing Russia's dependence on transit countries - will turn Primorsk into one of the world's largest seaports.

    Transneft Vice President Yevgeny Astafyev said in October that the project had reached eight billion rubles in annual profit ($300,000), which would be used to enlarge the project, with additional funds to be obtained on the financial markets.

    Astafyev said the BTS is expected to recoup investments in late 2008, and that Transneft had paid off loans secured for the project by the time it was launched.

    The first stage of the pipeline system was opened in 2001, with a capacity of 240,000 bbl/d.

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