Bulgaria’s Cabinet approved a joint venture to build and operate the Bulgarian section of the South Stream natural gas pipeline.
The new business will be registered in Bulgaria and will be controlled on an equal-equity basis by state-held Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and Russian gas giant Gazprom. The joint venture’s capital will be sufficient to cover the respective stage of the project’s development, Bulgarian Energy Minister Traicho Traikov said.
Last week Bulgaria and Russia announced the launch of a tender for a feasibility study for the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline on Bulgarian territory.
It is estimated that the project will cost between €19 billion and €24 billion and it will be done by 2015.
The joint venture is expected to be signed when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits Sofia on November 13. Putin will also discuss other large-scale energy projects in Bulgaria, including the Belene nuclear power plant and the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, with Bulgarian officials.