Bulgaria, Turkey to Join Forces for EU Funding of Gas Grids

Energy | September 30, 2010, Thursday // 18:22|  views

Bulgaria's Energy Minister, Traicho Traikov, is on a two-day visit to Turkey, in order to attend the second edition of the "Black Sea Energy and Economy Forum" in Istanbul. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Energy Minister Traicho Traikov has met with his Turkish counterpart, Taner Yildiz, during the second edition of the two-day "Black Sea Energy and Economy Forum" in Istanbul.

The Black Sea forum is organized by the US Atlantic Council. It is an initiative to bring together business leaders and policy-makers to discuss strategies regarding Eurasia, Black Sea, the Caspian and Central Asia.

"My Turkish counterpart and I discussed the main topics of our energy cooperation. One of them is the construction of the connection of the gas grids of Bulgaria and Turkey. You know we are trying to build it as part of Nabucco pipeline," Traikov said after the meeting on Wednesday.

He has explained that two two countries have prepared a concept and will promote it together in front of the EC, in order to receive part of the funding.

The construction of the gas grids is expected to be some 76km long and built in accordance with all Nabucco standards. It will lay the foundation of the future trans-European gas pipeline.

The connection will enable gas supplies to Bulgaria through Turkey from the Caspian basin and the Middle East. It will add to the diversification of Bulgaria's gas supplies.

Traikov and Yildiz have also discussed the perspectives for export of electricity from Bulgaria to Turkey, which would help the full integration of the Turkish energy system to the European one.

The topic will be discussed between the two energy ministers again in the beginning of next week, during the visit to Sofia by the Turkish Parliamentary delegation, led by PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Thursday, the talks will continue between the Bulgarian Energy Holding and the Turkish state-owned crude oil and natural gas company BOTAS.

In Turkey, Traikov participated in an official dinner for the opening of the forum, which was also attended by energy ministers from the region and representatives of the business.

They have discussed the perspectives for bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the economy and energy sector.

Even though Iraq and Afghanistan do not technically belong to the Black Sea Region, they are represented at the Istanbul forum, unlike Iran.

Similarly, Russia is represented in a somewhat low-profile fashion, only with executives of a couple of energy companies, and without any government officials; the Russian-sponsored pipeline South Stream has not been included at all in the forum's agenda.

US Special Ambassador for Eurasian Energy Affairs Richard Morningstar arrived for the Black Sea energy forum from Washington, DC, as did one of the emblematic makers of US foreign policy Zbigniew Brzezinski.

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Tags: Traicho Traikov, Black Sea Energy and Economy Forum, Istanbul, Nabucco, turkey, Taner Yildiz, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Morningstar, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, natural gas, gas transit pipeline, Black Sea region, Atlantic Council


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