Bulgaria/Romania: The diversification of gas supply to the Balkans is in progress

, SEE Energy News

Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary are planning a new main gas pipeline. Slovakian pipeline operator Eustream intends within two weeks to sign a memorandum of understanding with its Bulgarian and Romanian counterparts in order to build a pipeline that would diversify gas supply to the Balkans.

After conversations with potential partners in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and other countries, potential pipeline routes are reduced to two options. One route could connect Kapušany in Slovakia with the border between Romania and Ukraine with a length of 570 km. The second route is longer and is around 900 km, lying between the Bulgarian-Turkish border which is quite interesting considering Gazprom’s announcement that it will bring gas across Turkey to the border with Greece. The cost of construction of that main gas pipeline is estimated between 750 million and 1.2 billion euros, depending on the route’s length.

In the first phase pipeline’s capacity could be 15 billion cubic meters, with expansion potential of up to 40 billion m3. The construction of the pipeline could already be completed by the end of 2018.

That pipeline would secure Balkan countries with gas from the west, and main gas storages in Austria and Germany, and reversible via that route the gas could arrive not only from Russia but from Middle Eastern sources of that Caspian region as well. In Eustreamu believe that this project could count on money from EU funds, as well the loans from EIB.

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