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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gazprom Board Approves Plan for Pipeline to Turkey

Gazprom said Thursday that its board of directors has approved a $2.5 billion project to build the world's deepest underwater gas pipeline linking Russia and Turkey via the Black Sea.

But officials said Gazprom, the world's largest natural gas company, would not issue new debt to finance the link, and would instead attract credits from joint ventures planned with Turkish state pipeline company Botas for the project.

"We do not connect the [planned] issue of the Eurobond [in 1997] to the Turkish link," Yenal Yermolayev, Gazprom's deputy director of strategic development, told a news conference. "We will use other financing sources."

The 1,055-kilometer link will ultimately carry 16 billion cubic meters a year to Turkey, beginning in 2000. About 380 kilometers of the link will lie in the Black Sea, 2.1 kilometers below sea level.

A Gazprom engineer said an alternative land-based route through Georgia and Armenia was scrapped because it was more circuitous and cost $500 million more than the sea link.