Bulgaria and Turkey have agreed to speed up the construction of a gas grid interconnection between the two countries, Bulgarian Energy Minister Traicho Traikov said Thursday after a meeting with Turkish counterpart Taner Yildiz.
The two ministers met in Kayseri, Turkey, where they took part in the signing of the Project Support Agreements (PSAs) between NABUCCO Gas Pipeline International GmbH and the responsible ministries of the five transit countries.
"The PSAs give better guarantees for the sustainability of key factors for Nabucco like the legal framework, the procedures, etc., they make it more bankable and pave the way for securing the funding. The implementation schedule for the gas pipeline makes us reiterate the importance of a speedy construction of a gas grid interconnection that will allow us to achieve true diversification and access other sources of gas supplies ", Minister Traikov stated.
The Bulgarian expert working group on the project recommends building the gas link in the most economically profitable way, without commitments to the specifications of the Nabucco gas pipeline. As a result, the gas interconnection will not be a rival to Nabucco because of its totally different scale and terms for implementation.
In July, Bulgaria's state power utility NEK starts executing the contracts for electricity exports to Turkey, Traikov pointed out, adding that this happens for the first time after a 9-year break. According to Bulgaria's Energy Minister, the system is currently operating in test mode.
Another topic on the agenda of the meeting were the nuclear programs of both countries, including the projects for new nuclear power plants.
Minister Traikov briefed his Turkish counterpart on the ongoing debates in the EU on the development of the sector and Bulgaria's call for the introduction of stringent and objective common standards about nuclear safety to be applied by EU member states and neighbor countries.
He also made it clear that safety standards for new nuclear capacities were to be adopted at the forthcoming Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety on 20-24 June in Vienna, Austria.