LONDON - Agence France - Presse
The Nabucco gas pipeline, which seeks to link central Asia's gas fields with Europe via Turkey, is on track despite the Russia-Georgia conflict, the project's chief executive said in an interview published Friday.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Reinhard Mitschek said the conflict had "no impact" on planning for the U.S. and EU backed pipeline, which is expected to be completed by 2013.
The 3,300-kilometre pipeline is to run via Turkey and the Balkan states to Austria, and Mitschek told the business daily that a market survey had shown "huge demand" for it.
"The Georgian conflict has no impact on Nabucco or its planning, which envisages first deliveries in 2013," he said.
"We are focused on developing the project properly. Nabucco is on track and all partners are determined and fully committed to realise it."
He added that a planned Russian pipeline, dubbed South Stream, that would travel a similar path to Europe, did not render Nabucco any less appealing.
"South Stream and Nabucco are not competing projects," he said.
"Europe is facing a strong rise in gas demand in the next 20 years. Our own European gas production is declining, so we will need different projects and additional routes.
"It's not a question of South Stream or Nabucco: we will need both."