Monday, June 20, 2011

Romania, EIB in Talks to Secure Funds for Nabucco, EIB Says

The Romanian government has started initial talks with the European Investment Bank to get funds for state-owned natural gas grid operator Transgaz SA to help build the Nabucco Pipeline.

“It’s too early to discuss details of the possible financing aid, but I can say we have started discussions with the government about this, ’’ Millena Messori, head of the EIB office in Bucharest, said in an interview today.

Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) said on June 8 that Transgaz will have to contribute as much as 50 million lei ($16.9 million) to Nabucco this year to cover operating and pipeline expenses and another 30 million lei next year. Nabucco is intended to transport natural gas through Europe from the Caspian region.

The Nabucco venture decided in May to postpone the start of construction until 2013.

The pipeline, a joint venture of Transgaz, Germany’s RWE AG (RWE), Vienna-based OMV AG (OMV), Budapest-based Mol Nyrt., Bulgargaz EAD and Ankara-based Boru Hatlari ile Petrol Tasima AS, is designed to carry gas more than 3,900 kilometers (2,400 miles) from Turkey to Austria to reduce European dependence on Russia.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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