Bulgaria launched on Thursday the construction of a 23.8 million euro ($29.3 million) gas link with neighbouring Romania, Bulgaria's energy ministry said.
The project for the gas interconnector, which will link the towns of Ruse in Bulgaria and Giurgiu in Romania across the Danube, is being developed jointly by Bulgartransgaz and its Romanian peer Transgaz. The reverse flow gas pipeline will be 25 kilometres (km) long - with a 15.4 km section on Bulgarian territory and 2.1 km underwater - and will have a maximum annual capacity of 1.5 billion cubic metres.
Of the total project costs, 8.9 million euro are covered by a grant from the European Energy Programme for Recovery. The Bulgarian section of the gas link is worth 7.1 million euro. The European Energy Programme for Recovery has provided a 4.4 million euro grant and Bulgartransgaz has come up with 2.7 million euro in co-funding.
Bulgaria's gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz said at the beginning of June that the gas link, whose construction was negotiated three years ago, is planned to be completed by the end of May 2013.