Gas Dialogues: Bulgaria Reaffirms South Stream Commitment
Bulgaria reaffirmed its commitment to commencing construction in 2013 of the South Stream natural gas pipeline in a conference in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, on 25 June.
That pledge to participate in South Stream, the 925km natural gas pipeline which will traverse the floor of the Black Sea and cross through seven European countries to deliver Russian gas to European markets, was read aloud from a prepared statement from Bulgaria's Minister of Economy and Energy, Dragomir Stoynev.
"Increasing the energy security and ensuring the long-term stability of natural gas supplies for Bulgaria and the EU countries is a main priority for the national energy policy," the letter began. "The Bulgarian government has put serious effort into the implementation of the project.
"Our country participates actively in the preparation and implementation of a number of projects, among which the strategic South Stream has a great significance, not only for the Republic of Bulgaria, but for the region. The project will create a direct link between a main supplier, Russia, and the main consumer, the EU."
Minister Stoynev's message also pointed out that South Stream would ensure diversification of the routes of gas supply, both for Bulgaria and for Europe, one of the European Union's development priorities.
His message continued, "In December 2011, part of South Stream passing through the Republic of Bulgaria has been identified as an objective of national importance according to the Law on Territorial Status, and as a national objective according to the Law on State Ownership."
According to him, it was no coincidence that the Bulgarian party had given its consent to increase the capacity of South Stream from 31 to 63 BCM/year.
"All this is a reflection of our support for the project and our long-term engagement with its implementation. With documents already signed and the work on the project, the Bulgarian partner has made its will clear. I would like to ensure you that we will continue to work actively for the gas pipeline to become a reality," wrote Stoynev, who noted that the forecast for the consumption of natural gas in Europe showed the need for infrastructure like South Stream, because it would ensure security of supply for the continent.
He added: "The future sustainable development of the world depends on ensuring energy and finding the right solutions for effective political and economic cooperation between the companies that export, those that transit and the consumers of energy resources - the topics for discussion at today's conference. The presence of the participants confirms the importance of, and their will for, South Stream to be realized."
The conference, entitled South Stream: The Evolution of a Pipeline, was the first of a series of events this year examining the social, environmental and economic impacts of the South Stream project. The half day-long event featured representatives from government and industry as well as international policymakers. It also featured the results of a public opinion poll regarding sentiment towards the energy infrastructure project.
Read more about future South Stream events at gasdialogues.com