Bulgaria's Oil Pipeline Killing Won't Hurt Greece Gas Link, Govt Says

Business » ENERGY | December 8, 2011, Thursday // 15:29
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Oil Pipeline Killing Won't Hurt Greece Gas Link, Govt Says

Bulgaria's withdrawal from the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline will not affect the construction of the gas grid interconnection with Greece, according to Kiril Temelkov, CEO of state-owned Bulgartransgaz

"There is no connection between Burgas-Alexandroupolis and interconnection pipelines which are being developed in the gas sphere," Temelkov assured on Thursday, as cited by the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).

Speaking at a a discussion on European energy legislation, Bulgartransgaz' CEO refuted claims of MEP Ivaylo Kalfin that Bulgaria would not receive its share of EU financing for 2011 under the ISPA program and the annual installment for the construction of the gas link with Greece.

"We have not lost any money on the Bulgaria-Greece gas grid interconnection project. After we saw the publications which surfaced in the past few days, we sent an inquiry to the European Commission to which they replied that they had no information about redirection or rejection of the funds we have," Temelkov stated.

In a Wednesday interview, Bulgaria's Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Traicho Traikov dismissed as "mere speculation" allegations that Bulgaria would not receive its rightful share of EU funds for the construction of the interconnection pipelines with Romania and Greece for 2011.

"Activities are currently underway on the detailed site development plan, the parcel plan, the environmental impact assessment and the terms of reference of the project. The last meeting with European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy was held in September in Sofia and it was noted that everything was being implemented according to the requirements. We already have invoiced sums for small payments for which we could seek reimbursement. We are waiting for a change in the beneficiary of the EUR 45 M grant in January," Traikov explained.

Bulgaria broke the news about the cancellation of the oil pipeline project on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov explained that Bulgaria would seek a termination of the trilateral intergovernmental agreement by mutual consent.

If the request was rejected, Bulgaria would withdraw from the oil pipeline project in 12 months, Djankov added, stressing that the country would not incur sanctions with the step.

The motive behind the government's decision was said to be the fact that Burgas-Alexandroupolis was financially and economically unsound and could not be implemented under the terms of the 2007 agreement.

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Tags: Ivaylo Kalfin, ISPA, Traicho Traikov, Bulgartransgaz, Kiril Temelkov, gas grid interconnection, oil pipeline, Burgas-Alexandroupolis, Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline

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