Bulgaria Paid Off Debt on Bourgas-Alexandroupolis Oil Pipeline

Energy | March 9, 2012, Friday // 15:18|  views

Photo by dariknews.bg

Bulgaria has settled its debt on the project for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline and is now legally entitled to withdraw , according to Finance Minister Simeon Djankov.

Speaking in Parliament on Friday, he specified that Bulgaria had paid back its dues of BGN 6.7 M on the project in February 2012, as required by the shareholders agreement signed in 2008.

Under the 2008 contract, Russia holds a 51% stake in the project, while Bulgaria and Greece hold 24.5% each.

Bulgaria's installments to Trans-Balkan Pipeline, the international company in charge of the construction and operation of the oil pipeline, are determined on the basis of its participation in the project.

Bulgaria's installment for 2008 amounted to EUR 1 421 000 and was paid in 2008.

Bulgaria's installments for 2009 and 2010, EUR 4 876 000 and EUR 1 323 000, respectively, were both paid in the beginning of February 2012.

Bulgaria's installment for 2011 came in at EUR 171 500 and was paid in the beginning of 2011, the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA) informed.

In early December 2011, the government decided to terminate Bulgaria's participation in the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project on the grounds that it is not economically viable.

At that point, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Finance Minister assured that Bulgaria would not have to pay damages over the withdrawal.

In the beginning of 2012, Russian Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko warned that his country would take all legal measures available to make Bulgaria pay indemnities over the oil pipeline project.

"We will make a full legal assessment of Bulgaria's actions," said Russian Minister of Energy Shmatko, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

"We will calculate the expenses made by companies in the project. Without all doubt, given procedures at hand, those costs will be claimed from the Bulgarian party," Shmatko clarified.

"I deeply respect Mr Shmatko and want to wish him Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. But Russia will not pocket not even one lev from us for Burgas-Alexandroupolis project," Prime Minister Borisov said in response.

Afterwards in the beginning of February Bulgaria paid off a EUR 4.7 M debt to Russian Transneft, interest without paying interest.

The Russian side commented that "the problem with the debt has not been conclusively resolved".

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Tags: Burgas-Alexandroupolis, Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, Transneft, Sergey Shmatko, Trans Balkan Pipeline, Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov


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