The environmental impact assessment of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline is inadequate and needs to be reworked, according to the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment.
This announcement is set to protract even more the long drawn out project, adding to uncertainty about whether it will be realized at all.
"The report features many unclarities and omissions," according to the Ministry, which returned the papers for reworking. Trans Balkan Pipeline BV will now have two months following receipt of the official letters to return the new EIA.
Among the key weaknesses of the assessment is that the two options for unloading the oil into the pipe have not been given equal consideration, upon which the "buoy" option has been implicitly given preference over the "jetty/pier" option.
"The EIA report does not give an explicit about the specific effects of a possible oil spill on local fisheries, tourism and real estate. No specific measures for spill prevention have been mentioned. The measures included in the report do not guarantee that a possible accident will not lead to irreversible damage to the sea, its flora and fauna, and tourism," reads the Ministry's statement.