New Gas Pipeline Stretching 808 Miles to Murmansk Confirmed by Novatek

(P&GJ) — Novatek, the Russian energy giant, has officially announced its project to construct an extensive 808-mile (1,300-km) gas pipeline reaching Murmansk, Russia, The Barents Observer reported.

This project, approved by the Kremlin, is set to provide a vital source of natural gas to the households in Murmansk and Karelia while also catering to the requirements of a new LNG facility in the Kola Bay.

CEO Leonid Mikhelson unveiled this milestone during the recent Russian Energy Week, emphasizing that Novatek will take the reins in building this pipeline project capable of transporting 40 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

The decision to embark on this infrastructure project was made at the highest echelons of government after extensive deliberations.

Approximately 75% of the pipeline's gas capacity will be allocated to the forthcoming Murmansk LNG plant, with the remaining 25% earmarked for the gasification of towns and communities in the Karelia and Murmansk regions.

Novatek has corroborated this development project through its corporate news channels, with official confirmation also coming from the Kremlin, according to The Barents Observer.

In his address at the Energy Week, Vladimir Putin underscored the multifaceted impact of the Volkhov-Murmansk-Belokamenka pipeline, stating that it would not only bolster LNG production in Murmansk but also channel up to ten billion cubic meters per year for industrial and residential use in Karelia and Murmansk Oblast, fostering environmentally sustainable electricity generation.

Furthermore, Putin highlighted Russia's ambitious aspirations in the LNG sector, with production set to triple, reaching an astounding 100 million tons annually within the next decade.

Notably, Leonid Mikhelson told The Barents Observer that the pipeline will harness surplus energy from the Kola Nuclear Power Plant, enabling Novatek to circumvent reliance on Western-manufactured gas turbines, a crucial strategic move. The projected construction of three pipelines is estimated to require 500 MW each.

This groundbreaking development is further augmented by the availability of substantial natural gas volumes, a result of export reductions to the EU, which will significantly benefit the new Murmansk LNG plant.

In undertaking the construction of the Murmansk pipeline, Novatek is poised to challenge Gazprom's gas monopoly, a move that is expected to be met with some disapproval from the state energy company, which currently oversees the national gas pipeline grid.

An energy analyst has suggested that the construction of the 808-mile pipeline, extending from Volkhov near St. Petersburg to the Kola Peninsula, could potentially be completed by 2027, aligning with Novatek's plans to have the first of three proposed trains operational in the Murmansk LNG facility during the same year. The estimated construction cost is approximately 450 billion rubles ($4.5 billion).

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