Bulgaria-Serbia Gas Pipeline to Be Ready in 2015, Ministry Says

Bulgaria and Serbia plan to complete the construction of a 150-kilometer (93-mile) pipeline connecting their natural gas grids by 2015 to enable the two Balkan nations to diversify their fuel supplies.

The Bulgarian section of the link stretching 62 kilometers from Novi Iskar near the capital Sofia to Kalotina on the Serbian border, will cost an estimated 48 million euros ($62.5 million) that will be funded mostly by the European Union, the Ministry of Energy and Economy in Sofia said on its website today.

The two-way pipeline will have minimal annual capacity of 2 billion cubic meters and will allow Bulgaria to import gas from western European hubs via Serbia, according to the ministry. Bulgaria has completed the project’s feasibility study and plans to choose a builder by February 2014, the ministry said.

Bulgaria imports all of its gas from Russia and wants to diversify suppliers after a price dispute between Ukraine and Russia interrupted shipments for two weeks in 2009. A 24 million-euro interconnecting pipeline with Romania’s grid will be completed this year and a similar 200-million euro link with Greece is scheduled to be operational in 2015. A pipeline with Turkey is also being developed, according to the ministry.

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