Bulgaria 'Not Losing' over South Stream Demise

Business » ENERGY | December 8, 2014, Monday // 10:23
Bulgaria: Bulgaria 'Not Losing' over South Stream Demise South Stream was abandoned just days before pipes were to be laid on the seabed. Photo by BGNES

South Stream Bulgaria head Dimitar Gogov has downplayed recent comments that Sofia would suffer thousands of millions of BGN in losses after the gas pipeline project was suspended last week.

Gogov told private national channel bTV projected revenues would be EUR 448 M if South Stream had not been abandoned, but added the sum was not the country's profit, but general cash flow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had said while in Ankara last week that Bulgaria would lose EUR 400 M yearly after Moscow dropped South Stream over Sofia's reluctance to unfreeze construction.

Officials from the formerly ruling socialist party had echoed his comments, though Vasil Shtonov, who was caretaker Economy Minister until November 6, put the profit at EUR 54 M.

Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller for his part warned on Saturday the country would lose EUR 3 B in profit and investment.

"Nothing is lost with the halt of South Stream; it is just that nothing is carried out. One cannot profit from an activity they cannot conduct," Gogov said.

In his words, Bulgaria has not yet received a formal notice informing that the project is over.

Gogov also fended off comments from the EU that procurement which awarded South Stream's construction to the company Stroytransgaz had been flawed.

In his words, the same kind of tender had led to picking Gazprom's partners in South Stream Transport, which includes Italy's Eni, France's EDF and Germany's Wintershall Holding GmbH and which was to build the pipeline's offshore section.

South Stream Bulgaria is a 50-50 joint venture of Gazprom and the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH).

Dimitar Gogov took over on October 7, replacing Vladimir Inkov after a managerial meeting at South Stream Bulgaria.

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Tags: South stream, Dimitar Gogov, south stream bulgaria, Gazprom, Bulgarian Energy Holding, BEH, Vladimir Putin, Vasil Shtonov, Alexey Miller
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