News 23 Aug 11

Oil Pipeline Decision Deadline Extended

Bulgaria's Environment Ministry has extended the submission deadline for the environmental impact assessment on the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project until 30 September, according to reports.

BTA / Sofia Echo

The new deadline was requested in mid-July by Trans Balkan Pipeline, the international company behind the project, which is 51 per cent owned by Russian companies, with the remaining 49 per cent stake being equally split between Bulgaria and Greece.

In late June, Bulgarian Environment Minister Nona Karadjova gave the investor two more months to present the reworked study, saying no more delays would be tolerated.

The minister then said the environmental impact report had to be fleshed out as its content was insufficient to make an objective and comprehensive decision.

The ministry has so far rejected the assessment three times.

According to Moscow's estimates, Sofia should contribute €7.3 million for the stalled project.
The Bulgarian Government raised the capital of Project Company Bourgas - Alexandroupolis Oil Pipeline BG by 150 000 leva in the middle of July to keep the company operational until the fate of the project was clear.

The pipeline is expected to carry 35 million tonnes of oil per year.

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