Sofia, October 15 (BTA) - The Government-supporting parliamentary parties have considered the need and possibility of increasing the amount of the state guarantee under the project for the construction of a natural gas interconnector with Greece, Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova said at the Fourth EU-Southeast Europe Summit here on Thursday.
She recalled that the Government confirmed an 80 million euro state guarantee for this project in the 2015 state budget. "These steps show the importance of the project not only for Bulgaria and Greece but also for the energy security of all Central and Southeastern Europe," she commented.
Petkova, who conferred with her Greek counterpart on Wednesday, told journalists that the final investment decision on the interconnector with Greece is expected to be signed within a month. In her words, several technical points remain to be sorted out, which will take two or three weeks.
Asked about the increase of the gas pipeline capacity, which was mentioned on Wednesday by Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev, the Energy Minister said that they are working on it. "We would very much like this to happen," she said. "The capacity of this interconnector is 3,000 to 5,000 million cu m of gas, but we are exploring every option that would enable us to transmit larger quantities," Petkova said. She specified, though, that this phase of the project should be completed and the final investment decision should be signed first.