Bulgaria will kick off construction of a gas pipeline link with neighbouring Greece in March, economy minister Delyan Dobrev said.
According to initial estimates, the gas interconnector will be put into operation in 2014, Dobrev told reporters during the weekend.
The entire investment in the project is estimated at 209 million euro ($270 million), Dobrev said. It is implemented by Bulgarian-Greek joint venture ICGB.
The financing of the Bulgarian part of the project will be secured by local gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz, which announced it has earmarked a total of 117 million euro for the construction of gas interconnections with Greece, Turkey, Serbia and Romania.
In July, Greek environment ministry approved the survey on the natural gas pipeline linking the Mediterranean country with Bulgaria. The 180-kilometre interconnector between Stara Zagora, in Bulgaria, and Komotini, in Greece, will have a transit capacity is of 3.0 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year, which could be increased to 5.0 bcm annualy, with reverse flow capability.