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Transneft considers variants on Burgas-Alexadr project

May 23, 2012, 16:54 UTC+3
Bulgaria decided to withdraw from the Burgas-Alexandroupolis and Belene projects
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SOFIA, May 23 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Transneft is considering variants to construct the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline by-passing Bulgaria via Turkey, Russian Federation Council chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said on Wednesday.

Matviyenko, who is currently on an official visit to Bulgaria, said: “Now the Bulgarian section of the South Stream gas pipeline is being constructed successfully. It was given the status of national facility.”

After the meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, the Russian Federation Council chairperson said, “Bulgaria decided to withdraw from the Burgas-Alexandroupolis and Belene projects. On the one hand, the fate of any project is determined during the talks. On the other hand, the parties joined efforts to prepare the project and start its implementation when it was closed on the initial stage. This proves the irresponsible attitude towards a partner and ignores the continuity in our relations. Russia expressed regret with this fact.”

“As for the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project, Transneft is considering variants to construct the oil pipeline by-passing Bulgaria via Turkey,” she stressed.

Matviyenko considered the creation of new energy sources important for Bulgaria. Sofia is ready to pay for decommissioning of a reactor to the Kozloduy nuclear power plant. “Such variant is also possible. In our view, this is not an easy task to redesign the project and decommission the reactor to another nuclear power plant. Russia and Bulgaria set up a joint working group for this project. We hope that during the dialogue, both parties will find a solution to the problem,” the Russian Federation Council chairperson pointed out.

In March Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov said the country Bulgaria was refusing to take part in the project on the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant with Russia’s involvement.

“We will say ‘no’ to the Belene nuclear power plant project soon. It cannot be implement in the form what it has been presented,” Djankov said.

The minister meant the Bulgarian government’s unwillingness to build the nuclear power plant only with Russia’s participation.

Thus, Djankov confirmed the position by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov who said last week that he called for diversifying the participants in the Belene project. “On this moment at least 690 million euros have been sent to the project. Financial and economic performance data is very important for us. It will give an answer to the efficiency of the nuclear power plant within the 15-30 years. The key problem is that the project should be diversified,” the prime minister stressed.

Vice-Prime Minister and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov noted that a variant was being discussed to re-direct the project and build the 7th unit of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant. But according to local experts, it is scarcely probable. “We are searching for other energy companies, which will be able to join the project. Our work with the European Commission and other European countries will respond on the implementation of the Belene nuclear power plant. The decision should meet the interests of the state and the society in order to preserve Bulgaria’s leading position in the energy sector of the region,” the vice-prime minister stressed.

The tender for the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant was announced in 2005. Russia’s Atomstroyexport won the tender. On November 2006 an agreement was signed to build the nuclear power plant. In June 2011 it was extended to three months. On September 30, 2011 a new agreement on continuing the talks was signed.

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