May 2019, Vol. 246, No. 5


Consortiums Bid to Build $1.6 Billion Gas Pipeline in Bulgaria

Three consortiums have submitted bids in a 1.4 billion euro ($1.6 billion) tender to build a pipeline to carry Russian natural gas across Bulgaria, state-owned network operator Bulgartransgaz said.

The consortiums include companies from Italy, Hungary and Saudi Arabia, it said. The pipeline could become operational by the end of 2020.  

The Balkan country is rushing to build the 303-mile (484-km) pipeline from its southern border with Turkey to its western border with Serbia, aiming to secure a link to the Russia-backed TurkStream twin pipeline to southeast Europe.

Russia, which is building TurkStream to bypass Ukraine, has said it would need guarantees from Brussels that it would not oppose extending one of the legs of the 15.75 Bcm pipeline via Bulgaria.

Bulgaria says it wants to diversify its gas supplies and end its near 100% dependence on Russia’s Gazprom. EU officials, however, have expressed concerns that Bulgaria is focused on facilitating Russian gas deliveries to Europe to earn transit fees. P&GJ

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