EU Ready to Finance Bulgaria-Greece Gas Link, PM Borisov Says

Energy | March 20, 2015, Friday // 17:03|  views

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (R). Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on Friday he has been assured by EU energy chief Maros Sefcovic that the European Commission will finance the construction of a gas interconnection between Bulgaria and its southern neighghbour Greece.

“I believe we’ll be able to build it using European funds,” Borisov told reporters in Brussels following a EU Council meeting.

He also said that Bulgarian company Bulgartransgaz has completed preparatory works and is starting the construction of a new gas link with Romania. The interconnection between Bulgaria and its northern neighbour will be able to carry over 30 billion cubic metres of gas in both directions.

Commenting on the proposal to build a gas distribution centre in Bulgaria to serve Southeastern Europe and the EU, Borisov said that the idea – now before the European Commission - is open to implementation.

“We firmly insist and now everyone realizes that it can be done. There will be several sources of gas supply,” he said.

Referring to the South Stream gas pipeline project, which Russia said it was abandoning in December 2014, Borisov said no written statement on the cancellation of the project has been submitted to the Bulgarian side so far.

South Stream, designed to carry gas through a pipeline from Russia under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and further west to Europe, was frozen last year by the European Commission which said it violated EU energy legislation.

Russia announced in December it was forced to cancel South Stream due to the EU’s unwillingness to support the project and signed a  memorandum of understanding with Turkey over the construction of Turkish Stream, another new gas pipeline under the Black Sea that could effectively replace South Stream.

“Turkish Stream is not so easy to build,” Borisov commented. “While a gas hub (in Bulgaria) can receive gas from Russia, gas can come from Greece via the interconnector, from Romania, Azeri gas can come, as well as gas from our fields in the Black Sea.”

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Tags: Bulgaria, Borisov, Russia, greece, Romania, Sefcovic, South stream, Turkish Stream, gas hub


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