Bulgaria's President: Nabucco-West Retains Strategic ImportanceBusiness | July 10, 2013, Wednesday // 18:11| views
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, photo by BGNES
President Rosen Plevneliev has said that Bulgaria will work to facilitate the implementation of both the Nabucco West and the South Stream gas pipeline projects.
Speaking Wednesday at the opening of the 41st Plenary Session of the General Assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, PABSEC, which is taking place July 9- July 11 at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Plevneliev said that apart from being a natural corridor for natural gas supplies to the European market, the Black Sea region had a rich resource potential which was yet to be explored.
Bulgaria's head of state suggested that it was very likely that the region would play an increasingly important role in the energy sphere over the next few years, adding that this would bring both benefits and responsibilities.
"The strive of the European Union to guarantee energy supplies and secure the diversification of gas supply sources and routes assigned a special place to the countries in the Black sea basin," the President stated, as cited by the BGNES news agency.
"The decision to build the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to transport natural gas from theCaspian Sea to Europe was an important step forward. I believe that it was also the first stage of the construction of the large-scale European energy project called the Southern Gas Corridor," Plevneliev declared.
"I am convinced that the Nabucco-West project retains its strategic importance for the European energy policy and has its place on the map of Europe," he said, adding that Bulgaria and its partners would continue to work for its implementation.
Plevneliev added that Bulgaria would also support the implementation of the South Stream gas pipeline project, stressing that the conduit had to be built in line with EU laws and Directives.
He also pointed out that Bulgaria was developing domestic gas fields in the Black Sea shelf in cooperation with leading global companies like Total, OMV and Repsol which were to invest billions in the years to come.
"We welcome their investments, we have negotiated concession agreements with them and we will continue to seal such contracts for the Black Sea zone, so that Bulgaria will be able to use its potential for energy diversification and independence and to be a major source of diversification for European economies and routes," Plevneliev suggested.
He emphasized the need to boost efforts to develop a competitive regional energy market, adding that only connected countries stood the chance of being competitive.
To illustrate his point, he cited the Visegrad Group which was taking steps to unite their energy grids and markets by the end of 2013.
Plevneliev suggested that the construction of modern overland and sea transport infrastructure, alongside the common energy infrastructure, had to be treated as a priority of the BSEC member states.
Plevneliev also argued that the launch of direct flights between the countries in the Black Sea region would contribute to the dynamization of their relations and to the deepening of their trade and economic cooperation.
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