Bulgaria received a green light to join the strategic partnership for the installation of a submarine cable under the Black Sea, the outgoing Acting Minister of Energy Rossen Hristov said.
Romania, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Hungary are planning a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) interconnector under the Black Sea for the transmission of renewable electricity, including from offshore wind parks. At the latest meeting of the steering committee, the ministers responsible for the project approved Bulgaria’s request to join the strategic partnership.
Acting Minister of Energy of Bulgaria Rossen Hristov said the administrative procedure would be set in motion to enable his country to participate, 24 Chasa reported.
The committee revealed that the technical and economic feasibility studies would soon be completed. The next step will be to select a consulting company. The countries participating in the green corridor intend to establish a joint venture.
Bulgaria, Romania are racing against time in decarbonization
Romania launched a submarine power link project with Turkey two decades ago, but it has been dormant for many years now.
Romania and Bulgaria are under pressure to meet the deadlines for European grants and cheap loans for energy projects, as they must be completed by 2026. The two countries are attracting investments in renewables and nuclear power, reviving dormant projects and adjusting the legal framework.
Nuclear cooperation deal to be signed with US
Hristov also said the bilateral agreement with the United States on cooperation in nuclear energy is being translated, adding that the document would be adopted by the next cabinet.
Turning to Bulgaria’s dispute with Gazprom Export with regard to gas supply, the outgoing minister claimed the risk that the Russian company would file for arbitration is minimal. The contract expired at the end of last year and the deadline has passed, he pointed out.
Speaking at the Belgrade Energy Forum 2023 last month, outgoing Acting Minister Hristov pointed to the urgency in providing energy security, green transition and prosperity in Southeastern Europe, stressing there is “no room for a mistake.”