Bulgaria and Greece have signed Tuesday a contract for interconnection of their natural gas networks that must be built by 2013, announced Bulgarian Minister of Energy Traycho Traykov.
Speaking after the "Energy without Frontiers" forum held in Sofia, Traykov said that an agreement has been concluded between the Bulgarian Energy Holding and the Greek company IGI Poseidon.
Each of the two companies will have a 50% share of the project, which is estimated at EUR 160 M, 45 of which come from EU funds.
"This is an important step forward toward the actual diversification of gas supplies for Bulgaria," said the Minister of Energy and Economy.
He vowed that the first amounts of gas will flow in the interconnection pipe early 2013. The connection will run between Haskovo in Bulgaria and Greece's Komotini.
Earlier at the "Energy without Frontiers" forum it was announced that Bulgaria and Romania are now ready for the road map for a similar gas network link (between the cities of Russe and Giurgiu).
The project, sealed between Bulgartransgaz and Romanian Transgaz must enter its investment phase by the end of 2010.
The EU has planned a total of EUR 8.9 M within its European Energy Program for Recovery for the project. A further EUR 11 M has to be invested by Bulgartransgaz.
The Bulgaria-Romania interconnection is designed to be 23.8 km long and to have a maximum capacity of 1.5 B cubic meters of natural gas each year.