The Bulgarian section of the gas interconnector with neighbouring Serbia will cost 48 million euro ($62.9 million), Bulgaria's deputy economy and energy minister said.
The pipeline will contribute to the security of the gas supply of the two countries while also being critical to the development of the gas market of the entire region.
The construction of the gas link on Bulgarian territory is expected to begin this year. The interconnector is expected to be operational by the end of 2015, Evgenia Haritonova told a press conference in Sofia, adding that the cross-border pipeline will have a total length of around 150 kilometers.
Some 99% of the financing for the Bulgarian section is secured from the EU-funded operational program Competitiveness.
The pre-feasibility study for the Bulgarian section of the interconnector was completed by local company Gastec BG at a total cost of 854,300 levs ($572,200/436,800 euro).
The Bulgarian section will be about 60 kilometres long. It will pass through the towns of Slivnitsa, Dragoman and Kostinbrod and will cross over into Serbian territory at the Kalotina checkpoint.
In December, Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov and his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic signed in Brussels an agreement for the construction of the interconnector. The pipeline will have a capacity of around 1.8 billion cubic meters per year. The total investment required for its construction is estimated at 100-120 million euro, the European Commission said at the time.