SOFIA, December 11. /TASS/. Bulgaria is ready to place on its territory a gas distribution European-scale station, instead of the South Stream project, according to a verbatim account of a meeting of the Bulgarian government on Wednesday.
“We can build a gas storage facility in Varna, where /South Stream/ pipes were to come out of the Black Sea. The European Commission, under the plan /of its President Jean-Claude/ Juncker, may finance the construction of a liquefied gas storage facility. It will be filled there and pumped from there to Europe,” Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said. “The European Commission will sponsor this hub. We make a distribution centre of the Energy Union in Varna, and we are number one in terms of diversification. It is not in the interests of Turkey or Greece, or any other country. It is in our interests and in the interests of the European Union, and we must solve this problem. We offer the European Commission and the entire Europe a perfect option of placing a gas hub in Bulgaria, not in Turkey.”
Borisov instructed the ministers to notify all parties concerned about this initiative.
On December 1, after the talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was ready not only extend the Blue Stream pipeline but also to build another pipeline system to satisfy Turkey’s growing demand and to build a gas hub at the border between Turkey and Greece to pump gas to Southern Europe.
On the same day, the Russian leader said that in current conditions Russia would not implement the South Stream project. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said the project was no longer topical. “The project is closed, and that’s it,” he told journalists, commenting on the results of the top-level Russia-Turkey talks.
The South Stream project estimated at 15.5 billion euro was meant to supply 67 billion cubic metres of gas a year. Now, the capacity of the Blue Stream gas pipeline that runs across the bottom of the Black Sea to Turkey is 16 billion cubic metres of gas a year. Turkey has repeatedly offered Russia to use its territory as a starting point for gas supplies to Europe.