Austria: Habau will accomplish Bulgaria-Romania gas pipeline

07/04/2016 10:00 Natural Gas

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The state gas network operators of Bulgaria and Romania have inked an agreement with Austrian construction company Habau to accomplish a postponed interconnector connecting the two Balkan nations which is intended at reducing Bulgaria's reliance on Russian gas imports.

Sofia, which obtains over 90 percent of its gas from Russia's Gazprom, has searched alternative supply after Moscow annulled its South Stream pipeline project in 2014. South Stream would have transported Russian gas via the Black Sea to Bulgaria. Bulgaria scheduled to have the 25-km pipeline to Romania operational in 2013, but it has been deferred because of technical issues experienced by the previous constructer in placing pipes under the Danube River. Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova declared Habau will now have four months to construct two km of the subsea pipeline and should have the pipeline operational later this year. The pipeline will have a maximum capacity of 1.5 billion cubic metres of gas per year from Bulgaria, which hopes to turn into a gas distribution hub for Europe to Romania. From Romania to Bulgaria the capacity will be of 500 million cubic metres annually. Bulgaria also has started construction of a gas pipeline to Greece which will convey Azeri gas to Romania and Hungary. Petkova announced that indicative offers to book capacity on that pipeline have surpassed its primary capacity.

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