Bulgaria Halts Liquidation Proceedings for Burgas-Alexandroupolis Oil Pipeline Project Company
Bulgaria has cancelled court proceedings for the closure of a joint project company with Russia and Greece formed to build an oil pipeline linking Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas with Greece’s Aegean port of Alexandroupolis.
"We terminated the case because the Greek side proposed to keep the company as an infrastructure basis for future joint projects,” Bulgarian Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov has told Sofia-based news outlet mediapool.bg.
“We accepted their argument as the costs of maintaining this infrastructure are negligible, in order to keep the infrastructure as a basis for future joint projects between Bulgaria and Greece related to energy diversification,” Goranov said, explaining the reasons why Bulgaria had withdrawn its request to close the company from a Dutch-based commercial court.
The construction of an offshore terminal for liquefied natural gas near Alexandroupolis, in which Bulgaria wants to acquire a stake of 20% as part of plans to diversify its sources and routes of gas supply could be such project.
Dutch-registered Trans Balkan Pipeline BV project company was set up in 2007 with Russian companies Transneft, Rosneft and Gazprom oil holding a stake of 51% among themselves. The remainder was equally shared between Bulgaria and Greece. Bulgaria decided in 2012 to withdraw from the company but has paid its contribution into the company’s budget ever since.
Bulgaria filed the lawsuit in Amsterdam commercial court last year after its partners refused to close the project company.
Costs associated with keeping open an idled project company have been a point of controversy in Bulgaria. The government allocated BGN 34,000 (EUR 17,000) for the maintenance of the company last year. A further BGN 88,000 was extended in 2016.
The company accumulated BGN 7.4 M in losses between 2007 and 2014. Trans Balkan Pipeline BV closed last year with a loss of BGN 770,000, according to mediapool.bg.
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