Bulgarian Energy Holding Termed 'Very Reliable Partner' in Nabucco

November 17, 2012, Saturday // 04:19
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Energy Holding Termed 'Very Reliable Partner' in Nabucco
The new map of Nabucco West - the downsized version of the Nabucco gas transit pipeline. Map by the Nabucco Consortium

Reinhard Mitschek, Managing Director, Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, has defined the state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) as "a very reliable partner in the Nabucco gas pipeline project who works very ambitiously."

In a Saturday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), Mitschek said that he had no worries about the Bulgarian shareholder in Nabucco or about Bulgarian political leaders.

"The management and development of such a project takes time. It involves an engineering design, a project schedule, financing talks, etc. The project is progressing. A large number of activities are underway at the moment, among which an environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure. We have already reached an advanced stage in Bulgaria. We have analyzed key spots and routes. The same was done in Romania, Hungary, Austria, and Turkey. I am convinced that we shall get all certificates in Bulgaria too," the Managing Director of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International explained.

"Our preparedness to start construction works will depend on the speed of obtaining EIA approvals, on detailed zoning in Bulgaria, on land expropriations, etc. We want to prepare the project carefully so as to avoid any obstacles when construction starts," he declared.

Mitschek emphasized that the idea behind the EU-backed Nabucco gas pipeline was totally different from the idea behind Gazprom's South Stream project.

"We offer a completely new route – an alternative route with alternative gas. I believe that market players will find our offers very attractive. This is not a race for time, but a race to offer better terms and more attractive business opportunities to the customers on the market. This is why I am convinced that Nabucco West will succeed," Mitschek stated.

The Managing Director of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH explained that Nabucco West would rely on Azeri gas, the Shah Deniz field being the major source.

He assured that the natural gas carried via Nabucco would be offered at convenient prices in the long-term.

"The EU has created all the necessary preconditions for market liberalization and each project involving transport infrastructure for natural gas must be in line with competition regulations. This is why I believe that the days of monopolies are numbered," he told BNR.

Nabucco's shareholders are Austria's OMV, Germany's RWE, Hungary's MOL, Turkey's Botas, Bulgaria's Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and Romania's Transgaz.

Mitschek's interview came on the heels of Bulgaria's signing of the final investment decision on the Russia-backed South Stream gas pipeline project and the new direct 10-year gas supply contract with Gazprom.

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