By Vladimir Soldatkin
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia plans to build an undersea gas pipeline to Crimea and could construct three power stations on the Black Sea peninsula following its annexation from Ukraine, Energy Minister Alexander Novak was on Tuesday quoted as saying.
Novak told the Kommersant business newspaper the three power stations could have a total capacity of 1,320 megawatts, and the cost could be up to 100 billion roubles ($2.9 billion).
The natural gas pipeline, which could cost up to 6 billion roubles to build, would have a capacity of up to 2 billion cubic metres a year, he said.
An Energy Ministry spokeswoman confirmed Novak had made the comments to Kommersant.
Novak also said Russian state gas company Gazprom would cover all the costs for the construction of the pipeline to Crimea, which has been annexed by Russia although the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution declaring invalid the referendum that backed union with Russia.
Gazprom will also take part in a tender on the privatisation of local energy company Chernomorneftegaz, he added.
An Energy Ministry spokeswoman confirmed Novak comments to Kommersant. Gazprom declined comment.
Business daily Vedomosti daily quoted an unnamed Energy Ministry official as saying Gazprom could build a 400-km (250 mile) pipeline from the southern Russian city of Krasnodar to Sevastopol, Crimea’s main city, with an annual capacity of 10 billion cubic metres.
Vedomosti said another option for providing energy to Crimea was to lay a pipeline from Anapa, another southern Russian city. It said the cost of this project would be about $200-$300 million.
($1 = 35.1384 Russian Roubles) (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Editing by Timothy Heritage)