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Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece sign pipeline deals

08. March 2010. | 17:28 17:31

Source: Sofia News Agency

The European-funded Nabucco gas pipeline project gathers momentum, as the EC allocates funding, and Bulgaria signs contracts with Serbia and Greece.

The European-funded Nabucco gas pipeline project gathers momentum, as the EC allocates funding, and Bulgaria signs contracts with Serbia and Greece.

Bulgaria, which shares part of the EUR 200 M allocated for the Nabucco gas pipeline project, is in the process of signing agreements with neigbors Serbia and Greece for inter-connecting pipelines.

The European Commission (EC) has approved the allocation of funding for the pipeline and for gas connections between Bulgaria, Romania and Greece.

The money is part of the second group of projects in the European plan for economic recovery. Totaling EUR 2,3 B, it includes 43 energy projects.

In addition to the EUR 200 M earmarked for Nabucco, EUR 45 M has been allocated to the gas connection between Stara Zagora and Komotini, and a further EUR 9 M goes to the connection linking Ruse and Bucharest.

Gunther Oettinger, the EC Energy Commissioner, said in Brussels that funds for Nabucco would be allocated to all the countries through which it will pass - Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

The funding is not designed for specific activities, according to the Commissioner, but is a signal that this is an urgent EU project and that it is time for it to move beyond the level of ideas only.

Outlining his strategic timetable for Nabucco, Oettinger repeated that a new international conference on Nabucco is in preparation.

Nabucco transit states, countries in the Caspian region, and business representatives will be invited to participate.

The funding of the EUR 8,9 B project must be finally clarified by the end of 2010. Meantime, the start of tendering procedures and award of contracts for gas supplies is scheduled to begin in the second half of the year.

"If this happens, construction can begin next year and first deliveries will be in 2014-2015," the Energy Commissioner stated.

The Nabucco consortium is made up of Austria's OMV (OMVV.VI), Hungarian MOL MOL.BU, Turkey's Botas, Germany's RWE (RWEG.DE), Bulgaria's Bulgargaz and Romania's Transgaz TGNM.BX.

Another gas project is to be launched in Brussels on Friday. Bulgaria and Serbia have signed an agreement for a connecting pipeline between the westen Bulgarian town of Dupniitsa and the city of Nis, Serbia.

The project will cost an estimated EUR 60 M, which will come form the EC Regional Development Operational Program.

The documents will be signed by representatives of Bulgartransgas and Serbiagas, and the project deadline is set for 2012.

In parallel with this approval funding by the European Commission, agreements have been concluded in Thessaloniki, Greece, for construction of the Stara Zagora - Komotini gas connection.

A company has been established to implement the project, in an agreement made between Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and Greek-Italian consortium IGI Poseidon.

The total value of the 170-km pipeline is EUR 150 M, and the deadline for completion is in 2013.

The Turkish Parliament passed a law late on Thursday night that allows for the Nabucco pipeline to transit its national territory. Turkey was the last of the five transit countries to approve the necessary legislation.


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