Nabucco is the flagship Project in the Southern gas corridor. Nabucco will transport Caspian gas to European markets, bringing freedom of choice and diversification of supply to the European consumer.
On 28 June 2012, Nabucco West was selected by the Shah Deniz II consortium as the preferred Central European route to transport gas from the Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan. A final route decision is expected in June 2013.
Nabucco West will begin at the Turkish-Bulgarian border, traversing Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary and ending at the Central European gas hub, Baumgarten, in Austria. The capacity of the 48 inch diameter, 1329 km pipeline is scalable between 10-23 bcm, which means Nabucco West is highly responsive to increasing market demand.
The Nabucco West pipeline will enhance interconnectivity and diversification within the European gas market, connecting the gas transmission grids of the Balkan region, South Eastern European countries, and Western and Central European countries with a liquid market at Baumgarten.
The Nabucco legal framework - the Intergovernmental Agreement, the Project Support Agreements and the Gas Law Exemptions – support a pipeline project reaching up to the eastern and southern land borders of Turkey and with a design capacity of up to 31 billion cubic meter per year based on a 56 inch pipeline diameter. The engineering and permitting and ESIA processes have been progressed to secure this maximum technical configuration.
However, to achieve economic transport conditions, the pipeline design will have to be based on the actual demand for transportation services. This demand will be determined in the open season. The open season is the process by which all interested shippers of gas can book transportation capacity on Nabucco. Based on the outcome of the open season, a pipeline design will be chosen that is economic, scalable and connects to those upstream pipelines through which gas producers intend to make their gas available to Europe.
To offer economical transport conditions in such circumstances, Nabucco is already preparing an alternative technical design to the maximum technical configuration. This alternative design is based on a pipeline diameter of 48 inch and a pipeline from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria. This would allow for a scalable transport between 10 and 23 billion cubic meter per year. Nabucco has given this alternative design the name “Nabucco West
The pipeline, valves and fittings will be treated for internal and external corrosion with protective coatings as well as an impressed cathodic protection system. The pipeline system includes all of the above ground installations associated with the Project. These will comprise main, local and sub control centres, compressor stations, custody transfer bordering metering stations, intermediate take-offs, cathodic protection stations, pigging and block valve stations, SCADA and a fibre optic telecommunication system.