BASF subsidiary Wintershall has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gazprom to take part in the €2.5bn Nord Stream pipeline expansion project.


Designed to meet the increasing gas demand across Europe, the Nord Stream II pipeline will connect the Russian and the German coasts from under the Baltic Sea.

Wintershall will join a Gazprom-led consortium, which plans to build two additional pipelines to transport up to 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas to European customers through the Baltic Sea.

The expansion project will also have E.on, OMV and Shell as part of the consortium, under the memorandums of intent signed by Gazprom with the three European companies in June.

A previous consortium, Nord Stream, already operates two 1,220km-long pipelines with combined annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters (bcm).

Gazprom owns 51% share, while E.on Ruhrgas and Wintershall own 15.5% each, and Gasunie and Gdf Suez hold 9% each in it.

Operational since 2012, the existing two lines of Nord Stream have been supplying natural gas from Russia to the mainland in Lubmin/Germany. Two connecting pipelines transport gas from there to customers in West and Central Europe.

BASF board of executive directors member Hans-Ulrich Engel said: "BASF and Gazprom have been cooperating for more than 20 years on the construction of pipelines to ensure secure supplies of Russian gas to Europe.

"We are ready to apply the expertise gained in this area to the Nord Stream extension."

Image: The Landfall of the Nord Stream pipeline in Germany. Photo: courtesy of Nord Stream / Gazprom.