BSTDB May Help Finance South Stream Gas Pipeline

BSTDB May Help Finance South Stream Gas Pipeline

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) may provide financing for the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline once all parties involved in the project settle the relevant issues, the bank’s president said.

“We understand the difficulties and challenges [facing the project] and after all parties decide how to proceed and if South Stream will be implemented, we would love and we would really compete to participate in financing this project,” Andrey Kondakov told SeeNews on the sidelines of the BSTDB annual meeting held in Sofia.

“But first, all issues have to be resolved [..],” Kondakov added.

The planned South Stream gas pipeline, spearheaded by Gazprom, will carry gas from Russia to central and southern Europe via Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia, reaching its full capacity of some 63 billion cubic metres per year by 2017.

Earlier this month, Bulgarian prime minister Plamen Oresharski said Bulgaria was halting the construction of the South Stream section on its territory until the project is aligned to EU law. The Bulgarian authorities had earlier received a letter of formal notice from the European Commission, asking the country to suspend the project's implementation as it runs counter to EU legislation.

On Tuesday, Gazprom said the contract for the design, construction and commissioning of the pipeline's Serbian section will be signed in late June. News agency Itar-Tass had earlier quoted Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov as saying Russia and Serbia had confirmed their commitments to the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline.

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