9 October 2012, 09:16

Gas and no politics

Gas and no politics

The launch of the second supply-line in the Nord Stream gas pipeline is hugely important for Europe’s energy security and in particular that of the Czech Republic, believes Hugo Kysilka, Director of marketing for Czech gas company, VEMEX.

Kysilka considers the second Nord stream gas supply pipeline to be “a great event of the 21st century”. As is well known, the world’s longest underwater gas export route runs along the Baltic Sea from Portovaya Bay, near the city of Vyborg, in the Leningrad region, to the German coast. From there, via the OPAL system, the “blue fuel” runs through Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania to the border with the Czech Republic. Kysilka says that the Nord stream pipeline reaching full capacity will triple his country’s energy security.

And what does it mean for Europe as a whole? Hugo Kysilka, on the phone from Prague: “In my opinion, it is of greatest importance! This summer I had occasion to visit the coast near Greifswald. I was fascinated, the way two pipes emerge from the sea. This is something unbelievable! Just imagine, 1,224 kilometers, following the relief of the sea bottom is difficult to traverse. This has never happened before! The importance of this project goes far beyond the simple diversification of gas supply routes to Europe. With its full capacity launch (total throughput capacity is 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year) the European Union will find itself in a totally different energy dimension. The closure of nuclear power plants (a current tendency in several European countries) no longer brings the threat of energy deficiency because Nord Stream’s energy volume is equivalent to that of 14 modern nuclear power plants, 50 coal stations and many thousands of wind turbines”.

“It is no secret that “horror stories” about the threat of dependence on Russian gas supplies are being encouraged in European public opinion, especially in post-communist countries”, Hugo Kysilka notes; “But the timely launch of the second stream of the Russian-German pipeline, according to the plan, stirs up entirely different feelings from ordinary citizens. Another system starts work now: people simply understand that there will be no more gas hold-ups and there is no need to worry about how to cook dinner or boil water for tea. The Russians have inspired us with confidence for the future!”

Russia meets the Czech Republic’s gas needs almost totally and is helping to build underground gas storage facilities. Although the Czech Republic, like other European countries, is exploring non-traditional energy sources, as a senior manager of VEMEX, Hugo Kysilka is convinced: “There is no alternative to Russian natural gas for the Czech Republic today.”

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