After years of delay, Greece and Bulgaria signed an investment decision agreement in Sofia on December 10 to build a gas inter-connector pipeline between the two countries.
The project is seen as a key element of Sofia’s attempts to diversify its sources of energy, as it would allow boosting imports from countries other than Russia, which currently accounts for more than 80 per cent of Bulgaria’s domestic gas consumption.
Initially, the inter-connector will have an annual capacity of three billion cubic metres, but current plans envision increasing it to five billion cubic metres at a later date. The pipeline will link Bulgaria’s gas grid in Stara Zagora to the Greek town of Komotini, a distance of 140km, and will cost an estimated 220 million euro.
The European Commission allocated 45 million euro to the proposed pipeline in 2010, it began emphasising closer ties between national grids in the wake of the Russian disruption of gas supplies a year earlier, and is expected to add a further 35 million euro under the Juncker investment plan, reports in Bulgarian media said.
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