Bulgarian PM, EU Council President Discuss Three Major Energy Projects

Energy | June 29, 2016, Wednesday // 12:05|  views

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (L) and European Council President Donald Tusk (R). Photo: Council of Ministers

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and European Council President Donald Tusk discussed on Wednesday the three major energy projects which can be realised in Bulgaria.

The meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the two-day European Council summit, was held on the request of Tusk as continuation of their telephone conversation last week.

Borisov asked for the clear and firm stance of the European Commission on Bulgaria's projected “Balkan” gas distribution centre.

The Bulgarian prime minister also raised the issue for coordinating the follow-up actions Bulgaria is to take after the recent ruling of the International Court of Arbitration on the projected Belene nuclear power plant.

The International Court of Arbitration ruled that in the trade dispute between Bulgaria's National Electricity Company (NEK) and the Russian Atomstroyexport, Bulgaria is to pay Russia EUR 550 M for equipment already produced for the suspended project.

According to Borisov, the concept for the “Balkan” gas hub is very good one and would be of benefit to everyone in the region.

However Bulgaria wants to receive the assurance of the European Commission that from a legislative point of view the project is in full compliance with European legislation.

He recommended acceleration of the dialogue in the joint working group on the topic, made up of representatives of Bulgaria and the Commission.

Borisov also mentioned the undetermined fate of the cancelled South Stream gas pipeline project.

He noted that Bulgaria is strictly fulfilling its obligations as member state of the EU and expects Brussels to respond promptly to issues raised by Sofia.

In his words, all three projects are of significant importance for the implementation of the energy strategy of the Union, which puts priority on diversification of sources and supply routes.

He highlighted that none of the projects is purely Bulgarian and all of them concern decisions which have to be taken at the EU level.

Tusk made commitment to inform the Bulgarian government as soon as possible in what ways the European institutions will respond to the issues raised by Borisov.

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Tags: South stream, NEK, Atomstroyexport, Belene, pipeline, gas hub, energy, Donald Tusk, Boyko Borisov, EU, Bulgaria, European Commission


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