SOFIA, January 24. /TASS/. The construction of the South Stream gas pipeline still remains a priority on the Bulgarian government’s working schedule, Deputy Prime Minister Rumyana Bachvarova told a news briefing on Friday.
“As long as we have no official notification of its termination South Stream will remain on our program,” she said.
The executive director of the company South Stream-Bulgaria, Dimitar Gogov, said in a televised interview on Friday the work under the project was continuing.
“We are trying to achieve a concrete result to ensure the project should be one of the company’s assets, and not a liability,” he said.
South Stream, a global infrastructural project of the Russian gas giant Gazprom, envisaged laying a pipeline with a throughput of 63 billion cubic meters a year under the Black Sea to countries in Southern and Central Europe for diversifying natural gas supply routes and minimizing transit risks.
The surface section of South Stream was to be laid through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria to the gas metering station Tarvizio in Italy. A spur pipeline would deliver gas to Croatia and Republika Srpska (a territory inside Bosnia-Herzegovina).
The construction costs were originally estimated at 16 billion euros. Gas supplies were to begin at the end of this year.
The Bulgarian section of the pipeline began to be laid on October 31, 2013. A short while later the European Commission launched an anti-monopoly investigation of South Stream on the suspicion it ran counter to the rules contained in the European Union’s third energy package. Russia terminated the project.