Bulgaria to sign roadmap deal on Russia's South Stream

Bulgaria and Russia have agreed on ownership of the pipelines of the Gazprom-led link on Bulgarian territory, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said.

Bulgaria to sign roadmap deal on Russia's South Stream

Bulgaria will push ahead with Russia's planned South Stream gas pipeline, which would transport gas under the Black Sea and bypass Ukraine, and will sign a roadmap agreement this week, its prime minister said.

Bulgaria and Russia have agreed on ownership of the pipelines of the Gazprom-led link on Bulgarian territory, Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said after talks with Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov.

The two countries will launch a feasibility study for the 900-km pipeline, which would pump 63 billion cubic metres of Russian gas to Europe per year and become operational in 2015.

"At the moment there are no outstanding issues between Bulgaria and Russia on South Stream. We will sign the roadmap and launch a feasibility study," Boiko Borisov said on Tuesday.

"This project will be very beneficial for Bulgaria".

Borisov said the agreement for South Stream could double or even triple the profit for the Balkan country.

Bulgaria has agreed with Russia that Moscow will continue to pump gas to Turkey and Greece through existing pipelines that are owned by Bulgaria, while the new pipes for South Stream will be jointly owned.

Sofia will wait until September to decide on the fate of the planned Belene nuclear power plant, he also said.

Borisov hopes the government will have a better idea by then of the price of the 2,000 megawatt plant, its financing and investor interest.

"By September the first reactor will be ready and then we will have to decide whether to pay for it or start legal actions," he told reporters.

His government has put on hold Belene, for which the previous administration has contracted Russia's Atomstroyexport in a 4.0 billion euro deal, saying Bulgaria needs to reconsider the benefits of the project.

Borisov has repeatedly said that Bulgaria would likely abandon another Russian-backed project -- a planned oil pipeline aiming to carry Russian crude through Bulgaria to Greece, bypassing the congested Bosphorus waters.

Zubkov said Moscow was ready to give it up if an international environment assessment, which has already been commissioned, shows the pipeline endangers nature. He said he did not expect environmental hurdles.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Temmuz 2010, 14:33

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