Bulgaria to Start Building Gas Links to Greece, Romania in 2012

Energy | December 25, 2011, Sunday // 15:45|  views

Bulgaria is about to start construction a natural gas interconnection with Romania in a few weeks, according to Bulgarian Economy, Energy, and Tourism Minister Traicho Traikov.

The building of the Bulgarian-Greek gas interconnection will be started in the third quarter of 2012, Traikov told BTA Sunday.

Bulgaria moved to link its natural gas grid to that of its neighbors after the January 2009 gas war between Russia and Ukraine, which cut off the Russian gas supplies to Bulgaria for full three weeks leaving it without natural gas in the middle of the winter. The gas crisis of 2009 exposed Bulgaria's almost 100% dependence on Russian natural gas.

Bulgaria's Energy Minister further explained he expected to sign a memorandum with Turkey's Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, which will cement Turkey's political commitment to the project for a Bulgarian-Turkish gas interconnection.

He said Bulgaria will probe the opportunities for EU funding for the gas link to Turkey, at least with respect to the part of the future pipe that will be located on a Bulgarian territory.

Traikov reminded that the European Commission has already approved EUR 9 M in co-funding for the Bulgaria-Romania gas interconnection, and EUR 45 M for the Bulgaria-Greece gas interconnection, and another EUR 2.5 M for the feasibility study and application form for the Bulgaria-Serbia gas interconnection.

In February 2011, the European Council decided that each EU member state should have at least two sources of natural gas and electricity by 2014 in order to avoid a repetition of the Russian-Ukrainian gas crisis.

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Tags: Bulgaria-Romania gas interconnection, Interconnection Greece-Bulgaria, natural gas, Bulgaria-Turkey pipeline, Traicho Traikov, Economy Minister, European Commission, EC, EU, Bulgaria-Serbia gas interconnection, EU funding, EU funds


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