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SOFIA, November 7 (Itar-Tass) —— Bulgaria hopes to get a discount when signing new contracts for Russian gas supplies, Minister of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Delyan Dobrev on Wednesday, November 7.
“We are still involved in negotiations on the price for the Russian gas supplies. We understand how important they are. One U.S. dollar difference in the price of gas will allow us to save 3 million U.S. dollars a year if we buy 3 billion cubic metres. So we are going to fight for every dollar and cent and I am convinced that we will be able to make a contract on better terms,” the minister said at a meeting of the parliamentary commission on economics.
He said that Bulgaria has received an 11 percent discount for gas by the end of the year and will press for further prices cuts in new contracts.
Bulgaria will insist at least on keeping the 11 percent discount for the Russian gas, he stressed.
Dobrev said that the signing of the investment decision on the South Stream gas pipeline project scheduled for November 9 would not take place because of the national mourning for the late Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria.
“The agreement with Gazprom may be signed next week, on Wednesday or Thursday,” the minister added.
The Bulgarian government said it would authorise Dobrev to order the Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD to sign the final investment decision on the South Stream gas pipeline.
“The investment decision will be linked to the signing of new contracts for gas supplies to Bulgaria in 2013,” the government press service said.
Russia's Gazprom and Bulgaria earlier signed a protocol on the implementation of the South Stream project.
Gazprom and the Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD signed a protocol on the implementation of the South Stream project in Bulgaria. The document sets the point where the future gas pipeline will be connected to Bulgaria's gas transportation system, specifies its parameters and determines further steps in the implementation of the project," Gazprom said.
The sides agreed that “the final investment decision on the project will be made on November 15, 2012”.
With a view to diversifying the natural gas export routes, Gazprom is implementing the project for construction of a gas pipeline running under the Black Sea to the countries of Southern and Central Europe – the South Stream project.
South Stream, which will be jointly built by Gazprom and ENI, will eventually take 30 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas a year to southern Europe.
South Stream is scheduled to become operational in 2013. The 900-kilometre-long undersea section of the pipeline will run from the gas compressor facility at Beregovaya, on Russia's Black Sea coast, near Arkhipo-Osipovka, towards the city of Burgas, in Bulgaria. The sea's maximum depth on this route is 2,000 metres.
South Stream is a strategic project for Europe's energy security and should be implemented by the end of 2015. The overall capacity of the marine section of the pipeline will be 63 billion cubic meters a year. Its cost is about 8.6 billion euro.