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Bulgaria sees Nabucco construction starting in mid-2013

10.01.2013 - 16:47

On 10 January, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov announced that the construction of the Nabucco gas pipeline on Bulgarian territory will start in the middle of 2013.

At the first for this year meeting of the "Nabucco" Committee, he said that Sofia was ready with all necessary documents and called the construction of Nabucco “the only alternative and opportunity for diversification of gas supplies from Azerbaijan and from gas production in the Caspian region”. Bulgaria is one of the strong supporters of Nabucco.

The construction of the 424-kilometre pipe on Bulgarian territory will commence in the middle of 2013. According to the Bulgarian National television, it is expected that the consortium developing the second phase of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field will acquire 50% of the stakes in the Nabucco company. The negotiations are expected to be completed by 18 January, while the final agreement and the choice of route (whether it will start from Shah Deniz or the Turkish-Bulgaria border – Nabucco West) are expected to take place in June this year. Nabucco West is competing with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to carry gas from Shah Deniz to Europe. The Shah Deniz consortium is expected to decide between the two projects in mid-2013.

Bulgarian Energy Holding head Mihail Andonov told Bulgarian National Radio that the money for the construction of the pipeline will most probably come from credit institutions and other sources. However, the real question was who will take part by what percentage.

In October 2012, Borissov took part in the meeting of the Political Committee of Nabucco – an assembly of ministers from the transit states of the planned Nabucco gas pipeline project. There, he confirmed the full political support for the project and requested financial support from the other parties for a faster construction of the pipeline.

Also in October, the Committee confirmed the full political support for Nabucco and for the existing Intergovernmental Agreement giving comfort to investors and producers.