European Commission to Set Up Working Group on Bulgaria’s Gas Hub Project
European Union energy chief Maros Sefcovic has backed the idea of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to turn Bulgaria into a gas hub for EU countries.
Sefcovic, the European Commission’s vice president for energy union, and Miguel Arias Canete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, met with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev in Brussels on January 12.
The key points on the agenda of Monday’s meeting were the current energy challenges in Bulgaria, gas infrastructure development priorities for Central and South Eastern Europe, and their potential impact for European Union security of energy supplies, according to the press office of the European Commission.
Bulgaria confirmed its commitment to building an Energy Union aiming at affordable, secure, renewable and sustainable energy for all.
The participants in the meeting reached agreement on the necessity to increase integration of the region and most importantly, provide real diversification of gas supplies to the region and notably Bulgaria.
They agreed to create a High Level Working Group tasked with advancing the most important cross-border diversification projects in the region.
The participants in Monday’s meeting decided that the new entity was to start functioning without delay, launching an analysis of the energy situation in the region and the potential impact of the creation of a gas hub in Bulgaria.
The first meeting of the High Level Working Group was scheduled to take place in Sofia.
The Vice-President reiterated the Commission's willingness to assess how existing financial support mechanisms (Ten-E, Connecting Europe Facility, European Fund for Strategic Investments) could potentially help to secure the financing and swift implementation of the projects.
Prime Minister Borisov presented a proposal to turn Bulgaria into a common gas distribution center for EU Member States in the region, stressing that such a facility could supply Central and Western Europe as well as countries from the European Energy Community.
Vice-President Sefcovic expressed his strong support for the creation of gas hubs which could play an important role in developing regional gas markets.
He underscored that pre-conditions for functioning gas hubs were proper infrastructure, transparency, and liquidity, and non-discriminatory access to suppliers and customers.
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