Burgas-Alexandroupolis EIA Unsatisfactory, Project Protracted

Energy | November 9, 2010, Tuesday // 17:11|  views

"Don't turn Burgas into a second Chernobyl," reads a poster, carried by citizens of the coastal town, rallying against the construction of Burgas and Alexandroupolis oil pipeline. File photo

The environmental impact assessment of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline is inadequate and needs to be reworked, according to the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment.

This announcement is set to protract even more the long drawn out project, adding to uncertainty about whether it will be realized at all.

"The report features many unclarities and omissions," according to the Ministry, which returned the papers for reworking. Trans Balkan Pipeline BV will now have two months following receipt of the official letters to return the new EIA.

Among the key weaknesses of the assessment is that the two options for unloading the oil into the pipe have not been given equal consideration, upon which the "buoy" option has been implicitly given preference over the "jetty/pier" option.

"The EIA report does not give an explicit about the specific effects of a possible oil spill on local fisheries, tourism and real estate. No specific measures for spill prevention have been mentioned. The measures included in the report do not guarantee that a possible accident will not lead to irreversible damage to the sea, its flora and fauna, and tourism," reads the Ministry's statement.

The Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project will have tankers unload oil at Burgas port, to be transported via a 280-km long pipe to the Greek port of Alexandroupoli, where it will be shipped on. The pipe is set to pass through some Natura 2000 protected territories, as well as very close to Bulgaria's Strandzha Nature Park.

Environmentalists have claimed that the pipe is makes neither economic nor environmental sense.

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov has shown a chronic disaffection with the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project and has played the environmental card too, actually pre-empting the results from the EIA and claiming that there is no way it is going to be positive.

This development comes only days before the visit of Russian PM Vladimir Putin to Sofia this Saturday, which is expected to include talks on key joint energy projects, including the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipe.

As Russia is strongly interested in the realization of Burgas-Alexandroupolis, the new protraction of the project on the Bulgarian side might give Bulgaria a better standing in negotiations on other, more important joint projects, such as the South Stream natural gas pipeline and Belene NPP, but might also act as an irritant to the Russian party.

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: environmental assessment, Ministry of Environment, Boyko Borisov, Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, Vladimir Putin, South stream, Belene NPP, Russia, greece


» Related Articles: