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SOFIA, June 07, /ITAR-TASS/. Bulgaria’s former premier has said it is unfair to politicise the South Stream gas project.
“Such move does not meet our national interests,” Sergei Stanishev told a news conference.
“I don’t understand why the project is linking with the political situation in Ukraine and relations between Russia and Ukraine,” he said.
“The gas crisis in 2009 seriously affected Bulgaria. The crisis was a very serious event for Bulgaria,” Stanishev said.
Commenting on the European Commission’s demand to suspend the project, Stanishev said, “It is necessary to observe European legislation. We [Bulgaria] observe it.”
“We’re committed to all-European principles and to national interests that is why the South Stream project is an important investment project for Bulgaria,” he said.
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. Analysts have said that the project will cost around 10 billion euro, or 15.82 billion U.S. dollars.
The project stipulates for the offshore gas pipeline section to run under the Black Sea from the Russkaya compressor station on the Russian coast to the Bulgarian coast. The total length of the offshore section will be around 900 kilometres, the maximum depth - over two kilometres and the design capacity - 63 billion cubic meters. There are two optional routes for the onshore gas pipeline section: either north-westwards or south-westwards from Bulgaria.
In order to feed the required amount of gas to South Stream, Russia's gas transmission system throughput will be increased through the construction of additional 2,446 kilometres of line-pipe and 10 compressor stations with the total capacity of 1,473 MW. This project has been named South Corridor and will be implemented in two phases before December 2019.
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. Work is currently underway to draft a feasibility study for the marine section across the Black Sea and the surface section running through transit countries.
The overall capacity of the marine section of the pipeline will be 63 billion cubic metres per year. Its cost is about 8.6 billion euro.