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Bulgaria successfully completes economic test for 1.4 bln euro new gas transit link

Author Mario Tanev
Bulgaria successfully completes economic test for 1.4 bln euro new gas transit link Denys Prykhodov/

SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 31 (SeeNews) - Bulgartransgaz said on Thursday that it has successfully completed the binding Phase 3 of the economic test for a 2.77 billion levs ($1.6 billion/1.4 billion euro) project for expanding Bulgaria's gas transit network from Turkey to Serbia.

"Following the positive result of the economic test, Bulgartransgaz EAD took the final investment decision for the realization of the "Project for development and expansion of the gas transmission system" and will accordingly enter into binding capacity contracts with the candidates who submitted binding offers," the state-owned gas transmission system operator said in a statement.

Bulgaria received three binding tenders in the first two phases of the open season procedure for booking incremental capacity at the future pipeline from the border with Turkey to the border with Serbia, which nominated about 90% of the exit capacity offered by Bulgartransgaz.

The company subsequently decided to reduce the offered capacity for Phase 3 to the level of the nominations of candidates in the previous phase, with 20-year duration of the bookings.

Following completion of Phase 3, the binding nominations submitted by users total 100% of the capacity announced within that phase on the Bulgarian-Turkish border and 100% of the capacity announced on the Bulgarian-Serbian border, Bulgatransgaz said in the statement.

Bulgarian news outlet Dnevnik quoted energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova as saying on Thursday that the country's income from fees for the transit of gas through the new pipeline is expected to exceed 360 million levs per year.

Last month, Bulgartransgaz launched a 2.29 billion levs tender for the construction of a new, 484 km gas pipeline from compressor station Nova Provadia, which will be located some 50 km west of the Black Sea coast city of Varna, to the border with Serbia. 

Russia's Gazprom plans to build a string of its TurkStream pipeline for transit of gas to Europe from Turkey via Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. The TurkStream offshore gas pipeline, stretching 930 km across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey, consists of two parallel strings with annual throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic metres of gas each. One string is intended for consumers in Turkey, while the second will carry gas to customers in Europe.

(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)