Romania's Transgaz Gets BRUA Loan from EIB
The European Investment Bank (EIB) said December 17 that it will lend €50mn ($57mn) to Romania’s Transgaz to finance the first stage of the BRUA pipeline to connect the Black Sea to Austria. The EU’s lending arm said that this is the first tranche of an approved loan of €150mn.
Romania in March 2018 cleared its state gas grid operator, Transgaz, to start work on BRUA within its territory, involving construction of a new 308 km-long pipe. But the Hungarian government is blocking the planned full BRUA gas pipeline project that would enable Romanian gas to be exported to Austria and Hungary, and instead plans to step up Russian gas imports.
Transgaz backs BRUA - designed to connect Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria - the initial capacity of which would be 1.75bn m3/yr, rising in the future to 4.4bn m3/yr.
The success of BRUA may hinge on whether Romanian offshore gas is developed: Transgaz recently agreed to provide capacity for future flows from one prospective developer, Black Sea Oil & Gas. But its project, and that the Neptun project of ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom, will only be sanctioned if Romania reverses or dilutes fiscal changes included in its offshore law.