Posted by wilfrid duval on 02/18/2013
Gazprom, the russian world company of gas extraction, processing and transport announced, in 2006, through Alexei Miller (Boss of Gazprom) its pleasure to be back on the banks of the Baltic sea in Saint-Petersburg.
wanted to build the new headquarter of the multinational company in the city where he was born.
Political will, technical or emotional choices, several explanations could be possible.
Since its construction under the reign of Peter the Great, Saint-Petersburg has always symbolized the gateway to western Europe for Russia. Main gas supplier of the region, Gazprom would have decided to get closer to its most profitable market.
The russian giant of energy would rather being nearby its gaz assets. The North stream, a large pipeline starting from nothern Russia, running next to Saint-Petersburg and going through the Baltic seabed, enables Gazprom to bring its gas to nothern Europe. Not crossing Ukraine and Poland, the company spares itself custom fees due to gaz transport.
We shouldn’t forget either, political rivalries between Moscow, economic capital-city and house of the federal government, and Saint-Petersburg, former capital city of Russia and native city of Alexei Miller, Vladimir Poutine and Dimitri Medvedev.
Firstofall, the project wasn’t located on the banks of the Baltic sea. In fact, it was far closer to the city center of Saint-Petersburg near the Okta river instead of soviet industrial premises.
Including a tower of 984 feet (300 meters), many inhabitants protested. This structure, against to the city-planning laws allowing an upper limit of 48 meters, forced UNESCO to take part, threatening local authorities to take Saint-Petersburg out of the Worl heritage if the project was achieved.
In 2010, Gazprom and the governor of Saint-Petersburg chose Primorsky district, located at 5 miles (9 km) away from the city center to build the new urban complex : Lakhta center.
This driving-project will be made up with a business district including the new headquarter of Gazprom and a scientific cluster consisted of international level firms and education centers. Cultural, entertainment and foodcourt areas will be open to the population.
The tower, heart of the protest, will reach 1519 feet high (463 mètres) and tend to be a touristic highlight in Saint-Petersburg.
Fitting with the XXIth environmental standards, this driving-city will be equiped with efficient mass transit of which the network will extend itself on a diameter far larger than the one of the Lakhta center.
Construction works, estimated at more than $2,5 billions, started in october 2012 and should be done by 2018.
All the money invested by Gazprom makes the company a main operator in Saint-Petersburg-planning, contributing to its current and futur world attractiveness.