Bulgaria and US Strengthen Strategic Energy Cooperation

Business » ENERGY | May 23, 2024, Thursday // 11:36
Bulgaria: Bulgaria and US Strengthen Strategic Energy Cooperation

During his recent visit to Washington, Bulgarian Energy Minister Vladimir Malinov engaged in crucial discussions at the US State Department. Despite the tight schedule of Ambassador James O'Brien, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Malinov managed to meet with him. Their talks centered on advancing key projects such as the construction of new nuclear facilities at the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and the development of the Vertical Gas Corridor, which are of mutual importance to both countries.

Malinov and Assistant Secretary O'Brien reiterated their commitment to enhancing cooperation across all energy sectors. They expressed optimism that following Bulgaria's upcoming elections, political parties sharing Euro-Atlantic values would collaborate on common priorities, aiming for a stable governing majority with a long-term vision for Bulgaria's development and regional influence.

Discussing the Vertical Gas Corridor initiative, Malinov highlighted Bulgaria's efforts for its timely implementation, emphasizing the initiative's utilization of existing gas transmission infrastructure. The two officials also explored Bulgaria's steps towards diversifying its nuclear energy sector and the prospects for small modular reactors. Progress on the Kozloduy NPP's 7th and 8th unit construction project was underscored, with a shared commitment to leveraging US expertise to bolster cybersecurity at strategic energy sites in Bulgaria.

In addition to his meeting with Ambassador O'Brien, Minister Malinov held discussions with Kimberly Harrington, Deputy Secretary of the US State Department. They expressed confidence in the Vertical Gas Corridor's timely construction, emphasizing its significance for regional energy security and the utilization of Ukrainian gas infrastructure following the cessation of Russian natural gas transit in 2025. Deputy Secretary Harrington reiterated US support for the Vertical Corridor as a vital route for delivering US liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Southeast Europe.

Acknowledging the fruitful collaboration between Bulgaria and US-based company Westinghouse, Malinov and Deputy Secretary Harrington affirmed their commitment to continued cooperation throughout the construction process of new nuclear facilities at the Kozloduy NPP. Malinov noted the imminent loading of American fuel cartridges at the Kozloduy plant, marking a significant step towards real diversification of nuclear fuel sources.

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Tags: O'Brien, Bulgarian, US, Malinov

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