Gazprom plans to sign with the Italian company Saipem a contract for the construction of the gas pipeline “Nord stream-2” worth €10 billion, reported the Agency Bloomberg referring to two Russian officials, who requested anonymity. According to interlocutors of Agency, the contract may be signed at the St. Petersburg international economic forum (SPIEF), which will be held June 16-18. Before that, Gazprom and Saipem can negotiate a settlement of the claims of the Italian company, said the sources.
Gazprom and Saipem declined to comment on Bloomberg this information.
According to interlocutors of Agency, the contract on “to Northern stream-2” will be the first in the list of agreements which will be considered at the St. Petersburg economic forum with the participation of Italian officials. Earlier, a source close to one of the members of the organizing Committee of the forum, said that “political star” of the forum this year will be the Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi. Another source close to the organizing Committee, heard about the planned arrival of Renzi in Petersburg. Renzi himself said in February that he intends to visit St. Petersburg in June at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Renzi is seeking to improve relations with Brussels and Moscow, and Russia in turn after strengthening relations with Germany and Austria in the framework of several energy transactions, including those relating to the “Nord stream-2”, seeks to strengthen ties with Italy, according to the interlocutors Bloomberg.
Earlier in April, the head of “Gazprom” Alexey Miller said that the company may sign new agreements with the largest owner of the Saipem — Eni company, but didn’t go. Tuesday, 12 April, the press-Secretary of “Gazprom” Sergei Kupriyanov told Bloomberg that “the Italian theme” will be actively discussed on the forum, but refused to provide more details.
That Saipem is a Prime candidate for the construction of the gas pipeline “Nord stream-2”, in January, Bloomberg was told by two sources familiar with the situation. As one of them, the Italian company intends to implement the project for €9.9 billion ($10.7 billion). Another interviewee stressed that Saipem has already started negotiations with Gazprom and is the most likely candidate for the construction of a gas pipeline under the Baltic sea.
In March 2014, Saipem was chosen as the General contractor for the construction of the first line of the underwater part of South stream. However, in December 2014 the project was frozen at the initiative of Russia. Vladimir Putin explained that the claims of the European Commission to the project.
Replace the “South stream” was supposed to come the gas pipeline “Turkish stream”, which Gazprom also decided to involve Saipem. However, in July of 2015, “Gazprom” has signed a contract with Saipem for the construction of the first line of “Turkish stream”, referring to “the inability to reach agreement on many issues”. At the end of 2015 the construction of “Turkish stream” was postponed indefinitely because of disagreements with Russia and Turkey after the Turkish air force attack on the Russian su-24.
In December 2015, Saipem filed it under control “Gazprom” South Stream Transport B. V. the lawsuit by €759 million with a demand to recover damages for the termination of the contract for construction of the underwater part of gas pipeline “South stream”.