State-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and Russian gas giant Gazprom plan to raise the capital of the joint venture company, which was set up to build and operate the South Stream gas pipeline on Bulgarian territory, by contributing 191 million levs ($133.5 million/97.7 million euro) each, Capital Daily reported.
South Stream Bulgaria's capital will be raised to some 400 million levs in order to finance its investment programme for 2013, the newspaper reported, quoting a notice for a shareholders' meeting.
Latest estimates put the costs for the construction of the Bulgarian section of the pipeline at 4.1 billion euro. A few months ago they were estimated at 3.1 billion euro.
It is not clear where BEH will get the funds for the capital hike from, nor what is its exact purpose considering that the project does not entail major expenditures by the end of the year, Capital Daily noted.
The South Stream gas pipeline, with a capacity of some 63 billion cubic metres per year, will carry gas from Russia to central and southern Europe. The onshore pipeline will connect Varna, on the Black Sea, to northern Italy, via Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia. It is planned to go on stream by the end of 2015. The projected was initiated by Russia's Gazprom and Italy's Eni.