Bulgaria and Turkey have a common understanding that the development of gas transmission infrastructure, covering more Balkan countries and Europe, will ensure greater energy security on the continent, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and his Turkish counterpart Binali Yıldırım agreed in talks in Istanbul on July 10.
Borissov and Yıldırım spoke on the sidelines of the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Turkey’s largest city.
They agreed that the good political and economic ties between Bulgaria and Turkey, as well as their geographical situation, determine the importance of bilateral energy cooperation for the transit of energy resources, a Bulgarian government statement said.
Borissov said that a major step forward in this respect would be the construction of an interconnection gas connection between Bulgaria and Turkey.
He also underlined the support of the Bulgarian side for the development of the Southern Gas Corridor. “One of the countries with a key role in building it is Turkey. We declare our support and we will actively work for its implementation,” Borissov said.
The prospects for the development of energy cooperation were discussed during a meeting between Borissov and Alexander Novak, the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.
Borissov “noted the progress made in relations between Bulgaria and Russia in the energy sector thanks to the consistent work in this direction,” according to the Bulgarian government statement.
He said that after the joint efforts of the last year and with the arbitration decision for the Belene nuclear power station resolved, the two sides could continue to discuss the opportunities for fruitful co-operation.
Borissov described as a positive step the “road map” signed in early June 2017 by Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova and Gazprom managing board chairman Alexey Miller.
According to the “road map”, the countries will consider the possibility of extending the gas transmission infrastructure on the territory of Bulgaria, taking into account the EU’s rules.
The statement said that Borissov emphasised the concept of building a European gas distribution center on the territory of Bulgaria, for whose feasibility study the EU had provided funding amounting to 920 000 euro.
Borissov said that Bulgaria is working hard in the interest of energy security in the region of Central and Southeast Europe.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister also expressed his confidence in the successful completion of the work to extend the lifespans of Kozloduy nuclear power station units five and six.
Borissov expects “fruitful dialogue on topics of mutual interest” to continue at the meeting of the Intergovernmental Bulgarian-Russian Commission for Economic and Scientific and Technological Cooperation. The commission is expected to meet at the end of this year.
Addressing the congress, Borissov said that some of the largest oil companies have been involved in the development of gas exploration opportunities in the Bulgarian Black Sea Economic Zone.
“Bulgaria is a factor in the Balkans with the capabilities of its gas transmission system. At present about 16.7 billion cubic metres of transit gas passes through our country, and thanks to the investments made, nearly 80 per cent of the compressor stations in the Balkan region are located in Bulgaria,” he said.
Borissov noted Bulgaria’s intense efforts to build interconnector links with Turkey, Greece and Serbia, and the country had already put into operation the one with Romania. He also noted the expansion of gas storage facilities, the government statement said./IBNA