Bulgarian PM: South Stream Has Better Prospects than Nabucco
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Photo by BGNES
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has defended his country's agreement with Russia to build the South Stream gas pipeline, arguing that it will benefit Europe.
In an interview for the Financial Times, Borisov has stated that South Stream has better prospects than its rival EU-backed project, Nabucco.
Last week, Bulgaria's government signed with Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom the final investment decision for the construction of the South Stream gas transit pipeline.
The Bulgarian PM has reminded that no state money would go into the Bulgarian sector of the pipeline to bring Russian gas under the Black Sea and through the Balkans, which would be project-financed and receive no state guarantee from Sofia.
He has pointed out that the South Stream project will create jobs.
“The next [government] will collect transit fees [on gas transported through the pipeline] and will be able to pay higher pensions and build museums and sports stadiums,” he has told the FT.
Borisov has reiterated that Nabucco is his country’s “top priority.”
“But tens of millions of euros were spent on Nabucco so far, to administer it, and still we don’t know the source of gas for the pipeline,” he has noted.
Borisov has reminded that he has already cancelled two major Russian energy projects in Bulgaria: the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline and the Belene nuclear power plant.
The South Stream pipeline is intended to transport up to 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas to central and southern Europe, diversifying Russian gas routes away from transit countries such as Ukraine. Construction will start in December 2012, and not 2013 as previously planned.
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