The Balkan Gas Hub project in Bulgaria will develop regardless of what happens to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline or the Turkish Stream pipeline, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Director for the Internal Energy Market at the European Commission's Directorate General for Energy, said in Bulgaria on Tuesday. Borchardt, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev and Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova, visited the Provadia Compressor Station near the seaside city of Varna.
The guest said it will be good if Russia joins the gas hub project in Bulgaria, because "the greater the liquidity, the better." The future facility could begin operating without Russian natural gas, but at a later stage this would be bad for its competitiveness, he added.
According to Borchardt, a proposal for feasibility studies for the project should be submitted to the European Commission by November 9, and then funding can be secured. He confirmed that the EC is willing to take part in trilateral meetings with Bulgaria and other parties - whether Russia, Turkey or other - which are interested in the undertaking.
Various European financing mechanisms can be used to develop natural gas interconnectivity between the countries of Southeastern Europe, Borchardt said. EU money can be given either to member states or to a member state and its non-EU neighbour.
Energy Minister Petkova said Bulgaria's natural gas transmission infrastructure is absolutely reliable and is good enough for the purposes of the planned gas hub. She noted that the country is home to 80 per cent of the compressor stations in Southeastern Europe.