Bulgaria, Serbia decide on South Stream onshore route

Bulgaria, Serbia decide on South Stream onshore route
# 07 August 2010 23:29 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boiko Borisov and Serbian President, Boris Tadic have decided on onshore route of the South Stream pipeline designed to transport Russian gas to western Europe, Borisov told bTV channel on Saturday, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.
The South Stream project, in which Russia, Bulgaria and Greece are partners, stipulates the construction of a 300-kilometre pipeline from Burgas on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast to Alexandroupolis on the Greek Aegean Sea coast. The pipeline, which is considered a rival to the EU-backed Nabucco, is scheduled to be launched in December 2015.
Intergovernmental agreements have been signed between Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria for the implementation of the section of the pipeline that will run over land.
The onshore part of the South Stream pipeline will pass through the Serbian town of Dimitrovgrad, 65 kilometers away from Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
"For Serbia, Dimitrovgrad is the most convenient route, and for us it is not very important since the pipeline will cross Sofia anyway," Borisov said.
Russia and Bulgaria signed an agreement on the South Stream project in January 2008, and both financial and technical preparations were scheduled to be put together by mid-2010.
However, Russia’s energy giant Gazprom announced in June the possibility of re-routing South Stream through Romania, instead of Bulgaria, after Borisov said that his country would not participate in the project over environmental concerns.
Later, Borisov said that the Bulgarian government had not made a final decision. On July 16, Russia and Bulgaria signed a road map for the technical and economic assessment of Bulgaria’s section of the pipeline.
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