Bulgaria Tables Gas Hub Proposal in Russia
Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova has told Russian counterpart Alexander Novak that Sofia is proposing the construction of a gas hub on Bulgarian soil.
The idea put forward by Petkova includes setting up a transceiver in the Black Sea city of Varna to which Russian gas will be carried, alongside all the volumes potentially received from the interconnectors and future volumes extracted from the Black Sea.
Bulgaria is currently seeking to complete gas links with networks of all its neighbors, and is pinning hopes on exploration at Black Sea gas deposits off its coast.
"We have made the European Commission familiar with the concept, and the projects it involves are included in the 10-year development plan of the ENTSOG," the Energy Ministry in Sofia quotes Petkova as saying. ENTSOG, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas, is a body set up to oversee cross-border trade in the EU under the Third Energy Package.
At the meeting, which took place on Friday within the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), she explained that the ENTSOG is now to carry out an analysis of the impact the project could have on neighboring states to assess whether it is of joint interest.
Petkova also told Novak that the hub will offer an effective opportunity to carry Russian gas to Central Europe.
Novak later stressed, speaking to TASS news agency, that the idea was not about a hub at the Bulgarian-Turkish border, but on a Bulgarian territory.
However, he also reminded the same proposal had already been made to Moscow.
"[They touched the subject] half a year back, now she presented it to us once more," the website Korrespondent.net quotes Novak as telling journalists after the meeting.
This comes at a time when Russia and Bulgaria's southern neighbors Greece and Turkey are working on the so-called "Turkish Stream" pipeline, a project which is to provide an alternative to South Stream, a gas pipeline project which would have passed through Bulgaria delivering gas to Central Europe but which Russia abandoned in December of last year citing Sofia's reluctance to issue construction permits.
The subject of bringing the Burgas-Alexandroupoli project back to life was also touched during the SPIEF meeting. The Bulgarian minister, asked about Sofia's position on the Friday Russian-Greek proposal to revive the project, explained such a prospect had not been discussed for the moment.
Bulgaria announced in 2011 it was abandoning the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline project which would have passed through its territory, transporting oil to Greece.
Meeting Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis at SPIEF on Friday, Novak said both countries were ready to renew talks which could help the pipeline project return on the agenda.
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