Bulgaria-Greece Gas Link to Be Ready by end-2018
Thursday, 23 April 2015
Construction of the gas interconnection grid between Bulgaria and Greece will begin in March 2016 and will be completed by the end of 2018, Bulgaria's Energy Minister has said.
Under initial plans, the infrastructure was to be in place and become operational sometime in 2018.
Temenuzhka Petkova made the announcement following what she described as a "historic" meeting between officials from Bulgaria, Greece and Romania that was held in Sofia. Their talks were focused on the prospective construction of the so-called "Vertical Gas Corridor" linking gas grids of the three EU member states.
Petkova added a joint company had been set up to run the project with a capital of 10 million euros.
Hosted by Bulgaria, the meeting brought together Petkova, her Greek counterpart Panagiotis Lafazanis and Romanian Energy State Secretary Mihai Albulescu.
A first step toward this project was made in December 2014 by energy ministers of the three Southeastern European nations following the demise of Gazprom's South Stream gas pipeline, which Russian President Vladimir Putin had scrapped days earlier. It is estimated that every year the new gas infrastructure could carry between 3-5 bcm of gas from Azerbaijan and from Greece's liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.
Deputy PM for economic policies Tomislav Donchev attended the opening.
Focus News Agency quotes him as saying before the event that, as Europe's gas map is changing, interconnections with neighbors allow Bulgaria to be ready for "all future scenarios".