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Bulgaria's Environment Ministry refuses again to approve report on Bourgas-Alexandroupolis Oil Pipeline

27. June 2011. | 10:01

Source: BTA

Bulgaria's Environment and Water Ministry said on Thursday it has decided again not to approve the environmental assessment report for the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project.

Bulgaria's Environment and Water Ministry said on Thursday it has decided again not to approve the environmental assessment report for the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project.

The Ministry will bring its decision to the notice of Trans-Balkan Pipeline, the company which has been set up to implement the project for a pipeline that is to carry Russian and Caspian oil from the Bulgarian port of Bourgas to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis.

Trans-Balkan Pipeline will be given a last deadline of two months to supplement the report.

The Ministry first refused to approve the reports on Bourgas-Alexandroupolis in November 2010. A second refusal (concerning the environmental assessment report) came at the end of March 2011, and now, this is the third negative response. It has been agreed that the project should be definitively scrapped after three refusals. But as the regulatory framework changed at the beginning of 2011, the first refusal does not count, so the company is given one last chance.

According to Deputy Environment Minister Evdokia Maneva, the main reasons for not approving the environmental assessment report have to do with the protection of the Black Sea in the event of a technological accident. "This possibility has not been tackled well. There are also serious problems about the option of unloading [oil] in a port," Maneva said.

Earlier in the day, Environment and Water Minister Nona Karadjova told Bulgarian National Television that the information contained in the report is not enough for a comprehensive and objective decision. "There is not enough information concerning the port as an alternative. I think this is simply a matter of engineering and technical data," she said.

The Minister believes the two-month deadline is enough for the investor to supplement the information. "If the necessary data, figures and information are added to the report, a public discussion procedure will be launched accordingly," Karadjova said.


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