Nabucco Pipeline | Project Focus

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The 3300 km long Nabucco is supposed to connect the European Union better to the natural gas sources in the Caspian Sea and the Middle East regions. The cost estimates for this project is around 7.9 billion.

Nabucco Gas Pipeline Project

Location Turkey - Austria - TR
Investment 10,000,000,000 USD
Announced 2/28/2002
Completion 6/15/2017
Scope Nabucco pipeline (Turkey - Austria gas pipeline) is a proposed natural gas pipeline from Erzurum in Turkey to Baumgarten an der March in Austria diversifying natural gas suppliers and delivery routes for Europe. The pipeline attempts to lessen European dependence on Russian energy. The project is backed by several European Union states and the United States and is seen as rival to the Gazprom-led South Stream pipeline project. At the same time, there are some doubts concerning viability of supplies. The main supplier is expected to be Azerbaijan in cooperation with Turkmenistan, Iraq and Egypt.

The Nabucco pipeline will be built in two stages. The first stage of construction will consist of the 2,071 km stretch from Ankara in Turkey to Baumgarten in Austria, as well as the 360 km extension from Ankara to Sivas. The second stage will serve to link the upstream feeder lines from Turkey’s borders to the main pipeline, which will equate to an additional 1,600 km. It is anticipated that the lifespan of the pipeline will be 50 years.

The pipeline will run from Turkey via - Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary ending up in Austria close to the Gas Hub in Baumgarten. The feeder line concept in Turkey currently foresees a connection to the Turkish/Georgian border and to the Turkish/Iraqi border. Near Erzurum, it will be connected with the Tabriz - Erzurum pipeline and with the South Caucasus Pipeline, connecting Nabucco Pipeline with the planned Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline. About 2,730 km kilometres of the pipeline will be laid in Turkey, 412 kilometres in Bulgaria, 469 kilometres in Romania, 384 kilometres in Hungary, and 47 kilometres in Austria.

The technical details of the pipeline:
Total length: 3,300 km to 4,000km
Diameter: 1,422mm / 56” Diameter
Material: Steel
Capacity: 31bcm/ year
Wall thickness: 20-36 mm
Burial Depth: Minimum 1,0m
Pressure: 100 bar
Control: One Main Control Center and one Sub-Control Center
In-Country Control Centres (ICCC): Ankara, Turkey; Sofia, Bulgaria; Medias, Romania; Budapest, Hungary; Baumgarten, Austria
Compressor stations: 11

The pipeline, valves and fittings will be treated for internal and external corrosion with protective coatings as well as an impressed cathodic protection system. The pipeline system includes all of the above ground installations associated with the Project. These will comprise main, local and sub control centres, compressor stations, custody transfer bordering metering stations, intermediate take-offs, cathodic protection stations, pigging and block valve stations, SCADA and a fibre optic telecommunication system.

The Nabucco Pipeline construction is scheduled to start in 2013 and the first gas will flow through the pipeline in 2017.

In early years after completion the deliveries are expected to be between 4.5 and 13 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year or 158 to 459 billion cubic feet (Bcf). Around 2020, the supply volume is expected to reach 31 bcm (1.1 trillion cubic feet) per year, of which up to 16 bcm (565 Bcf) will go to Baumgarten.

The Nabucco project is being financed through a combination of investment from shareholders and debt financing from European financial institutions, mainly development banks. Total investment is estimated at EUR 7.9 billion, 70% of which will be financed through loans from financial institutions and 30% by the project's partners.

Development Milestones

2/28/2002 Initial discussions took place for the Nabucco project between OMV Gas & Power GmbH (Austria) and BOTAS (Turkey).
6/30/2002 Five companies (OMV of Austria, MOL Group of Hungary, Bulgargaz of Bulgaria, Transgaz of Romania and BOTAS of Turkey) signed a protocol of intention to construct the Nabucco pipeline.
6/28/2005 The joint venture agreement (JVA) was signed by the five Nabucco partners. The agreement laid out the rules of the Nabucco pipeline project.
1/8/2008 The British company Penspen has been appointed as owner's engineer, in a European wide tender procedure, for coordinating the detailed planning of the project.
2/28/2008 The German RWE joined the Nabucco Project as the sixth shareholder.
6/11/2008 The first contract to supply gas from Azerbaijan through the Nabucco pipeline to Bulgaria was signed. Azerbaijan confirmed that it was planning to at least double its gas production in the coming five years to supply the pipeline.
5/12/2009 Detailed engineering and planning for the complete route of the multinational Nabucco Pipeline Route has reached the intensive phase. Five Local FEED (Front End Engineering and Design) Engineers for Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey have been appointed and the British owned engineering consultant company Penspen now coordinates the planning efforts. These local firms are currently evaluating and investigating all technical details of the entire pipeline route to realise the necessary detailed planning.
7/13/2009 The Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) was signed in form of a Treaty between the Nabucco transit countries - Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey - in Ankara. Under the IGA, the five countries guarantee to facilitate the construction and operation of the Nabucco pipeline within their territories over a total length of around 3,300 kilometres, all regulated under a single legal regime.
3/5/2010 Turkey has completed the ratification process as the fifth transit country of the Nabucco consortium that have endorsed the agreement, following Hungary (October 2009), Austria (December 2009), Bulgaria and Romania (February 2010).
4/23/2010 Nabucco Gas Pipeline International launched the pre-qualification process as a starting phase for the procurement of long lead items such as pipes and valves needed for the pipeline construction. The value of the entire package is around Euro 3.5 Billion ($4.7 billion) and the deadline for companies to participate in the prequalification was 17th May.

Nabucco requires 250,000 pipes and over 2 million tons of steel, along with several pieces of specialist equipment and more than 30 compressor units.
6/8/2010 Turkey and Azerbaijan signed an agreement in Ankara defining terms for the transit of gas to Turkey and Europe.
7/21/2010 The Bulgarian government approved an agreement to support the European Union-backed Nabucco gas pipeline. The support agreement between Bulgaria and Nabucco's consortium aims to outline legal, regulatory and other details for the construction of the pipeline on Bulgarian territory.
7/31/2010 Nabucco gas pipeline consortium postponed the pre-qualification tender for the supply of pipes. The cause of delay was the large number of applications for participation in the tender. One of the parties, which declared its interest in participating in the tender, was German company Europipe.
8/23/2010 Two feeder lines to Georgia and Iraq were confirmed and the respective engineering works were ordered but due to the current political situation, Nabucco Gas Pipeline International is not planning a third one to the Turkish-Iranian border so far.
9/6/2010 The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed a financing letter of intent with the shareholders of the Nabucco gas pipeline project.

The signing of the mandate letter by the three International Financial Institutions (IFIs) marks the start of the appraisal process of the Nabucco project, a required step towards a potential financing package of up to EUR 4 billion.
4/19/2011 The Nabucco Pipeline Consortium expects to make a final decision on investing in the Nabucco project by late 2011.
5/6/2011 The timeline for the Nabucco pipeline project has changed as a direct result of the changes in the timing for gas supplies in the Caspian and Middle East regions. Construction is envisaged to commence in 2013 to align the Nabucco timeline with gas suppliers.
5/29/2011 Sponsors of the Nabucco Project are waiting to get 'a concrete response' from Azerbaijan about its participation in the Nabucco pipeline. The Turkish energy minister has warned Azerbaijan that if it does not take part in the Nabucco gas pipeline, Turkey will invite Iran, Iraq and Turkmenistan in the major plan.
6/8/2011 The legal framework for the Nabucco Pipeline has been finalised with the signing - in Kayseri, Turkey - of the Project Support Agreements (PSAs) between NABUCCO Gas Pipeline International GmbH and the responsible ministries of the five transit countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey). The PSAs are bilateral, legal agreements specific to and between the Nabucco Companies and the government of each transit country. The PSAs mark a commitment by each government to support the project.
9/30/2011 Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH welcomes Bayerngas’ intent on becoming one of the Nabucco shareholders. Negotiations with the six current shareholders will begin immediately to determine the future share split within the consortium.
9/30/2011 Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH welcomes a decision by the Council of the European Union to approve the mandate given to the European Commission to negotiate an agreement for the legal framework with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan for a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline system.
10/1/2011 Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH submitted a comprehensive transportation proposal to the Shah Deniz II consortium.
1/18/2012 RWE may scrap plans to participate in the Nabucco gas pipeline to save costs, opening the way for a merger of projects competing to bring Azeri gas via Turkey to Europe.
2/7/2012 The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for the 760 km long section between Ankara and Turkish-Bulgarian Border of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International has been officially submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization in Turkey.
3/1/2012 Turkish Energy Ministry approves “Public Interest Decision” on behalf of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH for land acquisition activities. This is a very important step in the progress of the project that allows approval by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Sources of Turkey for Nabucco’s application in a resolution dated February 14, 2012. The decision is prerequisite to initiate Land Acquisition activities and recognizes that the project is in public benefit.
5/23/2012 Nabucco gas pipeline has submitted to Azerbaijani gas field consortium Shah Deniz II a modified concept for the pipeline project, cutting its length to 1,300 kilometres from 3,900 kilometres planned earlier. Under the new concept, called Nabucco West, the pipeline will bring Caspian gas from the Bulgarian-Turkish border to Baumgarten in Austria.
6/28/2012 Nabucco West selected as Central European route for gas delivery from the Shah Deniz II gas field in Azerbaijan.
8/14/2012 The Hungarian section of the Nabucco pipeline has been granted the last necessary Environmental Permit. Hungary is the first Nabucco country to successfully finish the permitting process.
12/3/2012 RWE may soon quit the Nabucco gas pipeline project and could sell its 16.1% stake in the scheme to fellow shareholder OMV.
12/20/2012 Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II gas group could agree to take over a 50% stake in the Nabucco pipeline consortium.
1/11/2013 The shareholders in NIC ('OMV, BOTAS, BEH, Transgaz, RWE, FGSZ) and potential investors (SOCAR, BP, Statoil and Total) have reached agreement in principle on joint funding of the development costs of the Nabucco West up to the pipeline selection decision for Shah Deniz’ European export route, the granting to potential investors of equity options of 50% to participate as shareholders in NIC following a positive pipeline selection decision by the Shah Deniz Consortium in favor of Nabucco West.
1/28/2013 NABUCCO Gas Pipeline International has signed a contract with contractor Saipem to perform Front End Engineering & Design (FEED) services for the Nabucco West Project. Saipem has been selected as the appropriate provider of these services based on a competitive tender process launched in September 2012.
4/14/2013 The Austrian energy group OMV bought German utility RWE's 16.67% stake in the Nabucco pipeline project.
5/16/2013 A week after the launch of the registration phase of the Open Season, shipper interest in registration and capacity booking in the Nabucco West pipeline has already exceeded expectations.
5/28/2013 GDF SUEZ has signed an agreement with OMV Gas and Power, Austrian energy group to purchase a ca. 9% share in the Nabucco West gas pipeline project.
6/28/2013 Shah Deniz consortium had chosen the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline over Nabucco for its gas exports.
9/3/2013 Romanian has reportedly appealed to the European Union to reimburse his country for EUR23 million (USD30.5 million) spent on the Nabucco gas pipeline project, which lost a long-running competition with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to be selected as the preferred European export route for gas shipments from the Shah Deniz field.
3/4/2015 Bulgaria wants the European Commission to revive plans for the Nabucco pipeline that would pump gas from the Caspian Sea, after a Russian project seen as a rival was scrapped. Nabucco was backed by Western powers, but was shelved in part because there was not enough demand to sustain both it and South Stream. Bulgaria, which would have benefited from charging transit fees for South Stream, sees reviving Nabucco as a way to compensate for its loss.
3/13/2015 The visit of Azerbaijani President to Bulgaria gave a good impetus to the development of cooperation between the two countries, especially, in gas supply and the issue of resumption of Nabucco project’s implementation. The Nabucco project is important both for Azerbaijan and Bulgaria. Also it is necessary to resume the implementation of the project and Bulgarian government should make every effort for this.
4/26/2015 Iran’s ambassador to Bulgaria Abdollah Nouri has proposed joining the Nabucco pipeline. Bulgarian Prime Minister wants the European Commission to revive plans for the Nabucco pipeline that would pump gas from the Caspian Sea.
3/3/2016 Iran called on to reconsider the eliminated Nabucco West project.the proposal for the Nabucco gas pipeline was partially eliminated after imposing sanctions against Iran and now with the removal of sanctions the ground for reconsidering the project has been laid.
1/31/2017 Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) has acquired full control of the local unit of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International project company.

Bring Back Nabucco Pipeline, Bulgaria Says After South Stream Demise

Bulgaria wants the European Commission to revive plans for the Nabucco pipeline that would pump gas from the Caspian Sea, after a Russian project seen as a rival was scrapped, Prime Minister Boiko Bor...

Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH (NIC)
Partners and shareholders
Share Profile News
BOTAS Petroleum Pipeline Corporation 16.67 %
Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD 16.67 %
ENGIE (Previously GDF SUEZ) 9 %
MOL Group 16.67 %
OMV Group 24.34 %
Transgaz 16.67 %

Suppliers, Contractors & Service providers
$Value Profile News
D'Appolonia S.p.A.   Products catalog
Italian engineering company D’Appolonia S.p.A. (D’Appolonia) has been appointed as new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Advisor for the Nabucco Pipeline Project. The main purpose of D´Appolonia’s appointment is to ensure the successful completion of an integrated project ESIA, fulfilling the requirements of the International Finance Institutions (IFIs) and complying with national and European legislation.
ILF Consulting Engineers   Products catalog
On 18 February 2013, ILF Consulting Engineers was awarded FEED contract from SAIPEM for Nabucco West Pipeline. FEED engineering of the 48” system including Hydraulic Simulation, verification of route, site selection of above ground installations locations,, logistics concept, SCADA and telecommunications design.
Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH (NIC)   Products catalog
Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH (NIC) was set up on 24 June 2004 to develop, construct and operate the Nabucco pipeline.
Penspen International Limited   Products catalog
The front end engineering and design (FEED) services of the pipeline, including the overall management of the local FEED contractors, the review of the technical feasibility study, route confirmation, preparation of the design basis, hydraulic studies, overall SCADA and telecommunications, GIS and preparation of tender packages for the next phase, is managed by UK-based consultancy Penspen. The average of the contract value is EUR 9 mn.
RPS Group Plc   Products catalog
On 24 August 2011, NABUCCO Gas Pipeline International GmbH has appointed RPS Group Plc as Consultants on unexploded ordnance (UXO) risk assessments effective.The company will support Nabucco in conducting a general risk assessment of possible Land Mines and UXO contamination, along the whole pipeline route.
Saipem S.P.A.   Products catalog
On 28 January 2013, NABUCCO Gas Pipeline International has signed a contract with contractor Saipem to perform Front End Engineering & Design (FEED) services for the Nabucco West Project. The contract includes all FEED activities for the 48 inch diameter, 1326 km pipeline system. This includes strategic analysis of data and information to conduct appropriate risk assessments and allocation of resources across the pipeline to ensure the continued successful development of the project.
TUV Rheinland   Products catalog
On 31 January 2012, NABUCCO Gas Pipeline International GmbH has extended the contract with TUV Rheinland for auditing general contractors wishing to pre-qualify for the construction of the Nabucco pipeline. The contract awarded to the experts at TUV Rheinland covers the auditing of EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contractors. TUV Rheinland will also assist in the formulation of the prequalification documents in an advisory capacity.
Worley (previously known as WorleyParsons)   Products catalog
On 14 December 2011, WorleyParsons has taken over the contract for Owner´s engineering services for the Nabucco Pipeline Project. WorleyParsons will work in close collaboration with NIC and the NNCs on the review and verification of design, the review and modeling of CAPEX and OPEX, the management of engineering activities and the design of the compressor stations. WorleyParsons will also manage the relationship with the Local FEED Engineers.

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