Bulgarian Minister Announces New 6-Month Delay of Nabucco West Pipe
The start of the Nabucco West gas pipeline project will be delayed by at least another six months, according to Delyan Dobrev, Bulgaria's Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism.
In an interview of Trud daily published Thursday, he says that Bulgaria is ready to launch construction works but there is no source of gas for the pipe.
Due to delays in the second stage of the Shah Deniz gas field, no decision on gas supplies is expected before June.
The gas field in Azerbaijan is cited as the main source of gas for Nabucco.
The project has already been delayed by around two years, Trud daily reminds.
Bulgaria planned to start the construction of the gas grid interconnection with Greece in January.
The gas link is to be part of Nabucco and to receive funding from the European Commission.
However, Turkey has not yet given its consent for the gas pipe.
Meanwhile, the international company Nabucco Gas Pipeline International announced Wednesday that the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Water had issued a statement endorsing the quality of the national Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report and Appropriate Assessment Report for the Bulgarian section of the pipeline to the local company Nabucco Gas Pipeline Bulgaria EOOD.
The next stage in the process will be a series of public hearings on the project across 30 municipalities throughout Bulgaria in February 2013, according to Nabucco Gas Pipeline International.
"To our greatest regret, Nabucco has stalled," Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov commented last week.
During the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the Bulgaria-Serbia gas grid interconnection project on December 14, Borisov reminded that the Nabucco project was considered a national priority and insisted that the sod-turning ceremony of the local section of the Nabucco pipe had to take place on January 10, 2013.
The EU-backed Nabucco project is to carry Caspian natural gas to Europe by circumventing Russia.
In May 2012, the Nabucco Consortium presented the revised, smaller version of the gas pipeline project called Nabucco West.
The 1300-km pipeline Nabucco West is to carry Caspian gas from the Bulgarian-Turkish border to the Central European Gas Hub (CEGH) in Baumgarten and beyond.
The project's current shareholders include the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas, Austrian OMV, German RWE, and Hungary's MOL, each of them controlling a 16.67 % stake.
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