The German state of Brandenburg has given approval to OAO Gazprom and BASF SE’s Wingas unit for the north part of the Ostsee Pipeline Anbindungs-Leitung (OPAL) pipeline.

The 470km OPAL pipeline, which passes through Lubmin to Olbernhau near the German-Czech border, will connect Germany and Europe to the major natural gas reserves in Siberia via the Nord-Stream-Pipeline.

The $1.43bn (€1bn) pipeline will pick up the natural gas in Lubmin, near Greifswald, from the Nord Stream pipeline and transport it to Olbernhau on the Czech border.

The pipeline is expected to have an annual capacity of 35 billion cubic metres of natural gas.

Wingas holds 80% interest in the pipeline, while E.ON Ruhrgas holds the remaining 20% interest.