Bulgaria, Slovakia agree on building Eastring gas pipeline
Under the memorandum of understanding signed by the respective gas pipeline operators of the two countries, Bulgartransgaz and Eustream, in Sofia on Thursday the two companies will work jointly to provide EU financing for the project as well as test market interest in the pipeline, Novinite reports.
Eastring had been proposed by Slovakia after the suspension of the South Stream project, which would have brought Russian gas to Europe via a pipeline under the Black Sea coming ashore in Bulgaria.
The proposed pipeline is among the priority projects for financing under the European Commission investment plan for Europe.
The pipeline would link Slovakia with the Balkans and existing gas pipelines in Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania to the planned Balkan gas hub near Bulgaria's Black Sea port of Varna.
The project will give a boost to Bulgaria's objective to become a regional gas hub in the Balkans, which could help the country reduce its almost total dependence on imports of Russian gas via a single transit pipeline crossing Ukraine. ■