Bulgaria Sends Gas Hub Proposal to European Commission

Energy | December 12, 2014, Friday // 17:13|  views

Tomislav Donchev, Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU Funds and Economic Policy, photo by BGNES

Bulgaria has sent to the European Commission an official proposal for the construction of a gas hub on the territory of the country.

Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU funds and economic policy, made clear Friday that the letter, which had been sent to Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Energy Union, presented a proposal which had been discussed during Wednesday’s sitting of the Council of Ministers.

Donchev, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency, announced in Parliament that the gas hub project was in line with the ongoing efforts to launch the EU Energy Union.

He underscored that the gas hub project was not a revised version of the South Stream gas pipeline project.

Donchev noted that the gas hub project, if implemented, would not only get gas form one pipeline running across the Black Sea seabed.

He said that talks were yet to be held on the matter, first of all with European Commission offices and with EU Member States.

Donchev said that he had invited Maros Sefcovic to visit Bulgaria at his earliest convenience so that the gas hub proposal can be discussed as soon as possible.

“Given Bulgaria’s degree of dependence, it is difficult for me to come up with a statement which guarantees maximum security of gas supplies for the country in the short term, for instance over the next year. Generally speaking, we depend on one pipeline, on the will of one supplier, with the exception of domestic production, which covers 10-14% of consumption,” Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister declared.

Donchev expressed hopes that the security of gas supplies would improve as a result of the construction of gas grid interconnections, adding that the Bulgaria-Greece pipeline was the first one to be launched.

He did not rule out the option of Bulgaria initiating lawsuits over the suspension of the South Stream gas pipeline project.

Donchev admitted that Bulgaria would suffer losses from the cancellation of the project, adding that the amount was difficult to specify.

He noted, however, that they did not run into billions.

“Even if the fight is for EUR 5-10 M, when it comes to national interests, the matter is worth fighting for,” Donchev stated.

According to the proposal, as cited by the press office of the Bulgarian government, the gas hub is to be located near the Black Sea city of Varna.

According to the project, the gas hub could be a distribution center for EU countries in the region, including Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, and through them to EU countries in Central and Western Europe, as well as to Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.

Bulgaria’s advantages are said to be its well-developed gas transmission infrastructure and the ongoing gas grid interconnection projects with neighboring countries.

In the letter to the EC, Bulgaria insists that the proposal is in line with the EU’s third Energy Package and all market liberalization requirements.

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Tags: Tomislav Donchev, EU Funds Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, gas hub, gas pipeline, South Stream gas pipeline, gas supplies, Third Energy Package, energy union, Maro? ?ef?ovi?


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