Construction of Bulgarian Section of South Stream Ready to Commence in 2013

 Construction of Bulgarian Section of South Stream Ready to Commence in 2013

  PR Newswire

  SOFIA, Bulgaria, June 26, 2013

SOFIA, Bulgaria, June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Yesterday's conference - South Stream: The Evolution of a Pipeline - held in
Sofia, Bulgaria, and hosted by Natural Gas Europe, aimed to discuss the
social, economic and environmental implications of the South Stream pipeline.
South Stream, a Gazprom venture with a number of partners, will enhance
European energy security. It is a key project in meeting the strategy of
diversifying the gas routes within the European Union and will run from Varna
on the Black Sea to northern Italy, via Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and

Much of the discussion focused on the benefits that South Stream will bring to
Bulgaria and the region, specifically with regards to job creation and energy
security and diversification. Opening the conference, Daniel Papazov,
Bulgarian Minister of Transport, emphasized South Stream's importance as a top
priority for the Bulgarian Government and maintained that all measures were in
place, including the logistics of transport equipment, for construction to
commence in Bulgaria. "This project will be implemented very soon,'’ he added.

Dragomir Stoynev, Minister of Economy and Energy in Bulgaria, highlighted the
benefits that South Stream would provide to the country, given its position as
a regional hub for trading in gas. He stressed that ''the Bulgarian Government
is making serious efforts to implement this priority as the project is of
national significance.'’

He continued, "Increasing energy security and ensuring the long term stability
of natural gas supplies for Bulgaria and the EU countries is the top priority
for the national energy policy. The Bulgarian Government is making serious
efforts into the implementation of the project. South Stream has great
significance not just for Bulgaria, but for the region. The project will
create a direct link between the main supplier - Russia - and the main
consumer, the EU. With the documents already signed, the Bulgarian Government
has made clear its desire to see this project start."

Key to the discussion of the conference wasAlexander Syromyatin, Deputy Head
of Project Management Department,Gazprom,whoemphasisedthat the company
wasready to begin construction on the Bulgarian section of the South Stream
pipeline, outlining the proposed timeline for the process which is aimed to
begin by the end of 2013and the first phase to be completed by 2015.

He maintained that"SouthStream is an answer to the increased demand in
natural gas and willenable diversification of the Russian gas supply
routesto the EU, decrease transit risks,guaranteestable gas supplies to
Central and Southern Europeand helpimprovetheenvironment. We are committed
to beginning construction as soon as possible, and are working closely with
the Bulgarian Government and Bulgarian Energy Holdings to ensure that we can
meet that commitment".

In light of the recent political developments in Bulgaria and the appointment
of the new government, South Stream could help to strengthen the government's
position - and Bulgaria itself - given its potential positive economic
prospects in generating jobs and reducing gas prices. According to independent
research conducted and presented by World Thinks, a leading research agency,
over 68% of the Bulgarian public are overwhelmingly in favour of the project.

Yavor Kuyumdzhiev, member of the Bulgarian Parliament commented, saying that
''I believe the government will make all possible efforts to encourage
implementation. For Bulgaria this project is extremely important and will
guarantee thousands of jobs and billions of euros of investment in the
Bulgarian economy.'’

There is an increasing consensus that gas will be the key fuel in the
maintenance of the European economy up to 2050. Questions remain about the
viability of the development of Europe's shale gas reserves, meaning that the
construction of new routes from Russia will be critical in ensuring European
competitiveness in the global market. According to the consensus forecast by
the world's leading forecast centres, Europe's annual demand for additional
gas imports may reach 80 billion cubic metres by 2020 and surpass 140 billion
cubic metres by 2030.

The international speakers who elaborated on these issues included Jiri
Parouek, former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Riccardo Migliori,
President of the Parliamentary Assembly, OSCE, and Dragutin Matanovich,
Advisor to the Prime Minister of Serbia, amongst others.

Note to editors:


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