Romania and Bulgaria plan to complete the construction of a 23.8 million-euro ($33 million) natural-gas pipeline to connect their two national grids by 2013.
The 25-kilometer (15.5 miles) link with planned capacity of 1.5 billion cubic meters will help Bulgaria diversify gas sources, as it now fully relies on Russian natural gas imports, Bulgaria’s Economy and Energy Ministry in Sofia said in an e- mail today.
Bulgartransgaz AD, the state-run company that operates the national grid, opened a tender to commission a feasibility study for the 15.4-kilometer Bulgarian section of the pipeline, according to the ministry. Romania’s natural-gas grid operator Transgaz SA is currently evaluating design and construction bids for the 2.1-kilometer section under the Danube and the Romanian section of the link, the ministry said.
The two Black Sea countries held a bilateral governments meeting in Bucharest today to discuss regional projects. The two countries also discussed future joint exploration of shale gas deposits on both sides of the Danube river, the ministry said.
The European Union will contribute 9 million euros of the connection’s total cost. Bulgaria is building similar natural gas connections with grids in Greece and Serbia.
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