July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, which plans to ship Caspian fuel to Europe, seeks to raise as much as 18 million euros ($22 million) from its shareholders, a Romanian company official said.
The natural-gas link wants to raise 3 million euros from each of its six owners and may fall short of that goal if Hungary’s Mol Nyrt. sticks to its plan to suspend financing for the project, said Sorin Keszeg, who heads international relations at Nabucco’s Romania partner company Transgaz SA. Mol decided to stop injecting funds into the pipe because of a delayed answer from the partners in Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field on gas supplies, he said in a telephone interview today.
“Nabucco’s board of directors will meet in Vienna next week to decide on the capital increase, aimed at securing the financing needed to go ahead with the project,” Keszeg, who is also an official representative of Nabucco company, said. “Mol may reconsider its position on the planned capital increase, since Shah Deniz partners said they favor Nabucco. If Mol doesn’t, its stake will be diluted.”
Nabucco West, a 1,300-kilometer (810-mile) gas-transport link backed by the European Union, is competing with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, known as TAP, for rights to export gas from the Shah Deniz field, which may hold 1.2 trillion cubic meters of fuel in Azerbaijan’s part of the Caspian Sea. The EU is seeking to diversify supplies away from Russia, which provides a quarter of its natural gas.
Trangaz said on July 3 its stake in Nabucco may increase to about 17.1 percent from about 16.7 percent if Mol doesn’t participate in the capital increase.
“We continue to finance ongoing development works in the project, including in the areas of Engineering, as well as commercial and financial structuring of the project,” Nabucco Managing Director Reinhard Mitschek said by e-mail. “The Nabucco West proposal to the Shah Deniz consortium was supported by all shareholders, who are committed to the project.”
The Shah Deniz partners, who include Statoil ASA and Total SA, selected in June the Nabucco West pipeline as a potential export route to Europe and aim to make the final choice between it and TAP before an investment decision on expanding the field is due in mid-2013.
Nabucco West would transport gas from the Turkey-Bulgaria border to the Baumgarten gas hub in Austria via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. It’s a shorter version of a pipeline that initially would also have crossed Turkey. Turkey and Azerbaijan signed another deal to build the $7 billion Trans-Anatolia Pipeline pipeline, known as Tanap, across Turkish territory.
Nabucco joint venture also includes Germany’s RWE AG, Vienna-based OMV AG, Bulgargaz EAD and Istanbul-based Boru Hatlari ile Petrol Tasima AS.
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