Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova is participating in the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) Advisory Council which has kicked off in Baku, her Ministry said Thursday.
"As holder of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Bulgaria will actively support the development of the Southern Gas Corridor as a project guaranteeing Europe's energy security. My country's key priorities during the Presidency are diversification of sources and natural gas supply sources and routes, as well as guaranteeing energy supply security. In harmony with the priorities, the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor will consolidate Europe's energy security in the long term. It will bring natural gas from the Caspian, the Eastern Mediterranean and further destinations to European customers through the liquefied gas terminals," Petkova said.
Azerbaijan continues to be a main source of energy resources and a motor of the successful implementation of the Southern gas Corridor, she added.
Through the gas infrastructure development projects with Greece and Turkey, Bulgaria is an integral part of the Southern Gas Corridor. The Greece-Bulgaria and the Turkey-Bulgaria interconnectors will give other countries in Southeastern and Central Europe access to the Southern Gas Corridor through the Bulgarian national gas transmission system and the connections with Romania and Serbia.
Petkova told her colleagues from Azerbaijan, Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro, the UK, the US and the EU that the development of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector is at an advanced stage.
Construction is planned to start in the middle of 2018 and to be completed by 2020, she specified.
European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic acknowledged the progress made in the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector, visible today thanks to the efforts and government support of the partners from both countries. "This is the project at the most advanced stage, an integral part of the Southern Gas Corridor ensuring diversification of sources and supply routes to Southeastern Europe," he added.
Sefcovic expressed particular gratitude to Petkova for the consistent steps taken for the implementation of the project.
The participants in the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the SGC Advisory Council stressed the significance of the project for the sustainable development of the European Energy Union, focused on the future climate action policy to achieve a low carbon, secure and competitive economy. They approved the initiative of Bulgaria and Turkey to make possible two-way delivery of natural gas between the two gas transmission systems. The sides rallied about the strategic importance of continuing the development of the interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria.