Bulgaria will announce its investment decision on the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline on November 9 when executives from Russia's Gazprom and Bulgarian state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) are expected to sign the final documents on the project's implementation.
Bulgaria is expected to give the green light to the project as talks on preparing the paperwork are in their final stage, news agency Mediapool reported citing unnamed sources.
The parties agreed in early October that BEH will assume no financial obligations for the construction of the pipeline's section on Bulgarian territory and will instead forfeit all due gas transit fees for a period of 15 years.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the project in Bulgaria is expected in July 2013.
BEH and Gazprom each own 50% of the project company set up for the construction of the local stretch of the South Stream project.
The pipeline's Bulgarian section is expected to cost over 3.0 billion euro ($3.9 billion).
South Stream, a joint project of Gazprom and Italy's Eni, is expected to carry 63 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas per year under the Black Sea to Europe, starting in 2015. Slovenia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Greece are partners in the onshore section of the pipeline.