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Romania’s Transgaz working on EUR 24 mln project to connect natural gas supply to Bulgaria

A new project is underway to connect Romania’s natural gas supply to Bulgaria. The move is a response to the gas supply crisis in the region during the extreme cold weather and the Ukrainian/Russian dispute that interrupted a vital supply route into Europe causing shortages. The EU decided that countries should have two sources of natural gas to prevent a repeat of the shortages. The new pipeline will connect Giurgiu and Ruse, passing under the Danube.

The pipeline will be 25 km long, with 15.4 km in Bulgaria, 2.5 km beneath the Danube River and the final 7.5 km on Romanian territory, according to a report in industry news service Natural Gas Europe.com. The same report values the project at around EUR 24 million, with EUR 9 million funded by the EU, EUR 11 million from Bulgaria and the rest contributed by Romania’s natural gas supply company Transgaz.

The pipeline can potentially supply half of Bulgaria’s natural gas needs and representatives from both countries say it will greatly improve energy security. “It is particularly important because it can provide short-term flow of gas in a moment of crisis, and in the long term, contribute to security of supply of both countries, said Deputy Director General of Transgaz Liviu Pintican to news service Agerpres.

Pintican added that the Romanian section of the pipeline is nearly complete and that work on the sub-Danube stretch will begin soon, which according to reports will be built by a consortium of several Romanian companies and one Bulgarian firm. Work on the Bulgarian side is not as far along, but, the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has encouraged the Bulgarian – Austrian consortium responsible to redouble their efforts and get the pipeline finished by the May 31 2013 deadline.

Read Natural Gas Europe.

Liam Lever, liam@romania-insider.com

photo source sxc.hu