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    Gazprom to stick to Nord Stream timeframe despite ecology study

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    Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Sunday it does not intend to review the timeframe for the Nord Stream pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea to pump Russian natural gas to Germany.

    MOSCOW, December 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Sunday it does not intend to review the timeframe for the Nord Stream pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea to pump Russian natural gas to Germany.

    Baltic countries earlier voiced concerns over the pipeline project, and called for a detailed study of its environmental consequences.

    "We expect this project to be implemented within the agreed timeframe. Now we are coordinating all environmental issues with the countries involved in the discussion - Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. So far, we see no grounds for reviewing our earlier announced plans to launch gas transportation via the pipeline in late 2010," Gazprom's spokesman told Vesti TV channel.

    The ambitious pipeline project is being developed by Russia's state-controlled gas giant Gazprom and Germany's E.ON and BASF at an estimated cost of $12 billion.

    The first of Nord Stream's two parallel pipelines, approximately 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) long, each with a transport capacity of some 27.5 billion cubic meters per year, is to become operational in 2010. In the second phase, capacity should double to about 55 billion cubic meters per year.

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