Kirkovo (Bulgaria), May 23 - Neftegaz.RU. "The gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Greece will play a key role for the whole region and Europe, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said at a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras before the official start of the construction.
"The project is of strategic importance not only for our 2 countries but also for the whole of Europe, including the Western Balkan countries," Borisov said.
The project aims to bring Azerbaijani natural gas to Bulgaria and the rest of the Balkans, as part of an EU attempt to diversify its resources. Bulgaria is almost completely reliant on Russian gas for its needs at the present time.
Greek Energy Minister George Stathakis, who attended the ceremony with his Bulgarian counterpart Temenuzhka Petkova, said: “It’s a historical moment for the Balkans but also for the wider region of southeast Europe. We’re laying the foundation for a unified gas market in our area, securing at the same time, the region’s energy supply”.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras emphasised the importance of the interconnector, which he described as a “project that strengthens the geopolitical role of Greece and Bulgaria.”
“This pipeline could be extended to Serbia through the IBS (Interconnector Serbia - Bulgaria) pipeline, as well as to Romania via the Interconnector Bulgaria-Romania (IBR), which will help these countries to diversify their energy routes as well as their sources of supply,” Tsipras sai.
The gas pipeline between Bulgaria and Greece is 182 km long, 150 km in Bulgaria, connecting the Greek gas network in Komotini with the Bulgarian gas network in Stara Zagora.
Its technical capacity is 3 to 5 billion cu m. The total cost of the project is EUR 220 million ($245 million).