Bulgarian National Radio © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Vertical Gas Corridor: From megalomania to realism

Photo: BTA

The Bulgarian authorities have offered all sorts of exotic ideas to Brussels after the failure of the “South Stream" gas pipeline project at the end of last year. The first EU country that the Russian pipeline was supposed to reach was Bulgaria and it was expected to bring a number of economic and geostrategic benefits to this country. This did not happen because of aggravated relations between the West and Moscow and Sofia tried to ensure its supposedly reserved position on the gas map of Europe, announcing the idea to develop a European gas hub on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast for gas distribution throughout Europe. This attractive, but widely criticized idea in relation to its economic grounds, was not met with enthusiasm and Sofia decided late last year to start looking in a more realistic manner. The reality is that Bulgaria has no potential to play a continental role, but rather should direct its attention to its huge and dangerous dependence on one single gas supplier that is unpredictable and not particularly liked in Brussels and Washington - Russia.

Concrete expression of this sobering up were achieved last December in Brussels agreements between neighbors Romania, Bulgaria and Greece to finally link their gas systems so that gas can be transferred in both directions in case one of the countries needed it. The meeting this week of Energy Ministers of the three neighboring countries that took place in Sofia confirmed the will to complete this practical and realistic project and gave it a green light. It seems that common sense prevailed, because the successful completion of a regional project seems much more realistic than the megalomaniac plans at continental level.

Everybody wins this way. Romania has enough of its own reserves of gas and does not mind to secure new export markets. Bulgaria will no longer depend solely on Russian state giant Gazprom and will be able to count on imports from Romania or Greece. A number of international pipelines are actually planned to pass through Greece, which will also benefit from transit and eventual exports. Brussels has long advocated speeding up work on the Southern Gas Corridor and has positive opinion of the tripartite project called Vertical Gas Corridor. It not only approves, but would probably finance the construction of gas connections between the three countries. This is an additional guarantee that the project is beneficial for the region and that it would be implemented.

English Alexander Markov

More from category

Introduction of toll system in Bulgaria guarantees fairer billing model

The new road toll system will start functioning on March 1 this year with lower tariffs negotiated recently by the Bulgarian cabinet and branch organizations in the transport sector . Until February 12, the toll tariffs were subject to public..

published on 2/18/20 12:00 PM

High voltage in Bulgaria’s energy sector

The political parties, business, media and the public have again focused on Bulgaria’s energy sector. This country’s Premier Boyko Borissov called the EU Green Deal a “big problem” and added that Bulgaria should keep the coal-fired thermal..

published on 2/14/20 12:02 PM

Buying new car is becoming increasingly accessible in Bulgaria

Quoting data from the traffic police and car importers in Bulgaria, the BGNES Agency has reported these days that a change in the attitude of Bulgarian citizens towards the purchase of a new car has occurred. This is still happening at a..

published on 2/12/20 2:45 PM