Bulgarian Parliament Ratifies Burgas-Vlora Pipeline

Business | May 31, 2007, Thursday // 00:00

Bulgaria's Parliament ratified on Thursday the plans to build an oil pipeline linking its Black Sea port of Burgas with Vlora on Albania's Adriatic Sea coast, only a day after ratifying the deal to build the oil pipeline between Burgas and Alexandroupolis in Greece.

The lawmakers voted on the second reading to build the pipeline to Vlora, which would pass through Macedonia as well, with 127 votes in favour and 26 against.

Bulgaria is the first of the three countries to ratify the project to build the pipeline. Macedonia and Albania are expected to do so in the near future.

The three countries have reportedly secured the initial funding to carry out detailed feasibility studies for the 870-kilometer pipeline.

Just as the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline, Burgas-Vlora seeks to bypass the congested Bosphorus straights.

Under the terms of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis deal, Russia will own 51% of the company that will build and operate the pipeline, while Bulgaria and Greece will split the rest evenly.

It is also more likely to have guaranteed enough traffic through the pipeline to make it profitable, due to Russia's involvement, unlike the Burgas-Vlora pipeline.

Both pipelines have an initial annual transit capacity of 35 million tonnes of crude, but Burgas-Alexandroupolis can be expanded to 50 million tonnes.

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