Petkova and Stathakis confirmed the priority work on the interconnector Greece - Bulgaria

Petkova and Stathakis confirmed the priority work on the interconnector Greece - Bulgaria download this image

Bulgaria and Greece will work to speed up the activities to complete the construction of the gas interconnection between the two countries. This was confirmed during the meeting of the Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova and the Greek Minister of Environment and Energy Giorgos Stathakis. Minister Petkova is on a working visit to the Greek capital Athens, as part of the delegation headed by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Rumen Radev.

The main topic of the discussion between the energy ministers of Bulgaria and Greece was the development of the project for the construction of the interconnector Greece-Bulgaria. Utmost efforts will be made to successfully complete the project as it is a strategic project for the EU and an integral part of the Southern Gas Corridor. Ministers Petkova and Stathakis are adamant that they will focus their efforts on the procedures for the selection of a building contractor, the issuance of construction permits and all necessary documents on the territory of both countries. As regards the financing of the project, Minister Petkova explained that besides the funding received from the European Commission at the amount of EUR 45 million, for several successive budget years the Bulgarian Government has confirmed a sovereign guarantee of EUR 110 million. "Currently we are finalizing the process of seeking additional funding of EUR 35 million for the project under Operational Programme "Innovations and Competitiveness", we will rely on European solidarity", she emphasized. The issue of additional grant for the project from a Greek operational programme was also raised. Minister Petkova underlined before Minister Stathakis that the interconnector Greece-Bulgaria is of strategic importance to us, since it will ensure the supply of natural gas from the Southern Gas Corridor and the future terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) near Alexandroupolis and others. At present, we have a concluded contract with our partners from Azerbaijan for the supply of 1 billion cubic meters /year natural gas to Bulgaria from the second phase of Shah Deniz field that will be delivered through IGB as of 2020.

The support by the Bulgarian and Greek Governments to implement the project for the construction of an LNG terminal near Alexandroupolis, Greece, was discussed as well. The Bulgarian Energy Holding is studying the possibility of joining the project. At the invitation of Minister Petkova, both ministers will continue talks on the project in Sofia, in July.

"As in the field of natural gas and the electricity sector as well, the bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Greece have been developing progressively in the recent years. I am confident that both, the interconnector project and the power line project between the substations "Maritsa Iztok" and "Nea Santa", will be implemented successfully", Petkova said during the meeting with Stathakis.

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