THE CONSTRUCTION of a crude oil pipeline connecting refineries in Bratislava and the Austrian town of Schwechat should start in 2012, Slovak Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek told a news conference after the signing of a memorandum on cooperation in the energy sector between Slovakia and Austria. He also said that necessary legislation should be adopted by Slovak lawmakers by the end of 2009, the SITA newswire reported.
“We will create conditions for prompt construction of the connecting pipeline,” Minister Jahnátek said, as quoted by SITA, adding that if preparatory steps can be completed faster, the construction will start even sooner.
The pipeline project will be carried out by the Slovak firm Transpetrol and Austria's OMV, which established a joint venture for this project called Bratislava-Schwechat Pipeline. Transpetrol holds a 74 percent stake in the venture and OMV owns 26 percent. The pipeline between Slovakia and Austria should be 62 kilometres long, 12 of which are in Slovakia. The transport capacity of the pipeline should range between 2.5 and 5 million tons of crude oil annually. The economy minister also said that the companies are expected to agree on financial details soon but he did not mention the volume of investment.
Austria wants to build the pipeline between the two countries so that it can directly import Russian crude oil.