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SOFIA, November 12 (Itar-Tass) — The final investment decision on the South Stream gas pipeline will be signed on November 15, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said.
After the meeting with Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Delyan Dobrev on Monday, Plevneliev said, “I’m satisfied with information I’ve gotten. I uphold the South Stream project.”
The Bulgarian president also said the position of all European countries was important for him. “Minister Dobrev assured me that joint efforts were being taken in order to make the gas price more profitable,” Plevneliev said.
Dobrev also said, “The main parameters were established in 2008. The final investment decision does not envision new conditions. This week we will take the final decision in this aspect.”
“I can say Bulgaria’s interests will be protected in the project,” the minister added.
Answering a question of the price on Russian gas supplies to Bulgaria from January 1, 2013, Dobrev said, “This information will be available on Thursday” when an investment decision would be signed. “We hope for a big discount,” Dobrev said.
In July 2010 Russia and Bulgaria inked the Roadmap to perform the feasibility study for the Bulgarian section of the South Stream project.
In pursuance of the Roadmap, on October 25, 2010 Gazprom and Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD signed the Agreement on the feasibility study for the Bulgarian section of the South Stream project.
On November 13, 2010 Gazprom and Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD signed the Shareholders Agreement and the Articles of Association for the South Stream Bulgaria AD joint project company (JPC) established on a parity basis for the South Stream project implementation in Bulgaria. The JPC was registered in December 2010.
On December 16, 2011 Gazprom and Bulgarian Energy Holding completed the legal procedures related to the feasibility study done by the contractor for the Bulgarian section of the South Stream gas pipeline.
On April 19, 2012 the South Stream Bulgaria AD Shareholders Meeting approved the contractor's agreement for carrying out the spatial planning, environmental impact assessment and project documents preparation for the Bulgarian section of the South Stream gas pipeline.
On August 27, Gazprom and 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,” the company said.
The sides agreed that the final investment decision on the project woul be made in November 2012.
These steps are part of Gazprom’s efforts to diversify natural gas export routes by building a gas pipeline running under the Black Sea to the countries of Southern and Central Europe – the South Stream project, the company said in a press release.
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.