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Visiting Bulgaria, Russian PM Medvedev discussed energy projects with Borissov and Radev

05 March 2019 , 12:08Neftegaz.RU458

Sofia, March 5 - Neftegaz.RU. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his Bulgarian counterpart Boiko Borissov discussed their respective priorities on their energy agendas in talks in Bulgaria on March 4, SofiaGlobe reported.

 

Referring to the Turkish Stream project at the press-conference, Medvedev said: «We will be able to talk after they give us a guarantee. When the EC gives us a reliable guarantee that this project will not be broken in the future, then there will be no barriers».

 

Borissov expressed confidence that Bulgaria would continue to be a participant in gas transmission in the region, referring to his pet project the «Balkan» gas hub.

 

«Our decision is clear, it has been agreed with the European Commission. We call it a gas hub, Gazprom CEO calls it a gas distributor, so both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 can move, and so we too can transit and sell in the gas hub about 15 to 16 billion m3. I do not see a reason for Bulgaria to give up its advantage,» Borissov said.

 

Bulgaria’s goal is that after the transit now through Ukraine goes over to Turkish Stream, the pipelines in Bulgaria do not end up empty. More than 16 billion m3 of gas flow through Bulgaria at the moment, and 6 billion leva (about 3 billion euro) had been invested in new compressor stations, Borissov said.

Regarding the Belene NPP project – which Borissov’s 1st government shelved in March 2012 because of spiralling costs – the Bulgarian PM said that the arbitration court in Paris had ruled that the 2 reactors were Bulgarian, for which Bulgaria had to pay 1.176 billion leva plus accumulated interest, which the country had paid, minus the interest which the Russian government had forgiven.

 

«Now Bulgaria has wrapped in plastic 2 nuclear reactors – produced in Russia, Bulgarian property,» Borissov said. He said that new nuclear power capacity was essential because probably the next generation would not be able to rely on coal-fired power stations and in 10 to 12 years, Bulgaria would have to import electricity.

 

In June 2018, at the government’s request, Parliament gave it a mandate to hold talks with potential investors in the Belene project. The Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova said in January 2019 that she was hopeful that the tender to pick a strategic investor for the restart of the Belene NPP could be launched in February, with preparations for the process already underway.

 

Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia was ready to consider its participation in the Belene project. «Rosatom has a lot of experience with such projects,» he said.

Medvedev also held talks with head of state Roumen Radev, who won the most recent presidential elections. Radev said that Russia was a strategic partner of Bulgaria in the energy sector, where there was great potential for development

 

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