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Russia Mulls Undersea Gas Pipeline, 3 Power Plants for Crimea

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 said Tuesday.

Novak told Kommersant the three power stations could have a total capacity of 1,320 megawatts, and the cost could be up to 100 billion rubles ($2.9 billion).

The natural gas pipeline, which could cost up to 6 billion rubles to build, would have a capacity of up to 2 billion cubic meters a year, he said.

Novak also said 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 privatization of local energy company Chernomornaftogaz, he added.

Gazprom declined comment.

Vedomosti quoted an unnamed Energy Ministry official as saying Gazprom could build a 400- kilometer pipeline from the southern Russian city of Krasnodar to Sevastopol, Crimea's main city, with an annual capacity of 10 billion cubic meters.

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 $200million to $300 million.

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