An environmental impact assessment procedure for the Bulgarian section of Nabucco gas pipeline project has been launched, Nabucco Gas Pipeline Bulgaria said.
Documentation for the procedure was submitted to Bulgaria's environment ministry on October 31, the company said in a press release on Monday.
After the environmental review, Nabucco will incorporate feedback after consultations and then hold public consultations along the route, following which the application will return to the authorities for a final decision.
Earlier this year, Nabucco announced the completion of an environmental impact assessment permitting process for the Hungarian section of the route.
The Bulgarian section of the pipeline is 422 kilometres (km) long.
Austria's OMV, the Bulgarian Energy Holding, Turkey's Botas, Romania's Transgaz, Hungary's MOL and Germany's RWE are partners in the Vienna-based Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, the project company of the 3,300 km pipeline designed to connect the Caspian region and the Middle East with the Turkish and European gas markets that will ensure diversification of routes and sources and contribute to the security of gas supplies.
The first gas deliveries are expected by 2017.