Construction of South Stream Gas Pipeline in Bulgaria Seen Starting in June
Friday, 17 January 2014
Construction works on the Bulgarian section of South Stream gas pipeline are expected to start in June, three months after a contractor is named, the CEO of the Dutch-based South Stream Transport B.V. said, as quoted by the Sofia News Agency (Novinite.com).
The Bulgarian authorities are expected to grant a building permit to the project in March, the news agency quoted Oleg Aksyutin as saying.
Earlier this week local media reported that the European Commission is checking if the tender procedures for the construction of the pipeline’s Bulgarian section are compliant with EU law as concerns exist that tenderers were given too short deadlines
In December the Commission said the bilateral agreements for the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline – concluded between Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria – are all in breach of the EU law and need to be renegotiated. According to the EU, its so-called network ownership 'unbundling' rules need to be observed. This means that Russia's Gazprom, which is both a producer and a supplier of gas, cannot simultaneously own production capacity and its transmission network. Non-discriminatory access of third parties to the pipeline needs to be ensured and the tariff structure needs to be addressed.