June 25, 2024

Athens News

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Greece and Bulgaria discussed the construction of an oil pipeline from Alexandroupolis to Burgas

At the talks between Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Rumen Radev, Athens and Sofia agreed to explore the possibility of building an oil pipeline from Alexandroupolis in Greece to Burgas in Bulgaria.

The meeting between the Prime Minister of Greece and the President of Bulgaria took place on Thursday 16 February. Following its results, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in particular, said that a memorandum of cooperation had been signed with Bulgaria regarding the refusal to use oil from Russia. He noted:

“Athens and Sofia have committed themselves to exploring the possibilities of building a new oil pipeline that will connect the two hub ports – Alexandroupolis and Burgas, and through them the two seas – the Aegean and the Black. This plan, which we discussed with the distinguished President of Bulgaria, revives in the light of new conditions not the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline, and the Alexandroupolis-Burgas pipeline, offering Bulgaria alternative sources of supply, along with, of course, a safer, faster and cheaper way to transport fuel.”

The Greek Prime Minister noted that the new oil pipeline will provide alternative opportunities “not because it replaces the tankers that must cross the Bosphorus, but because in this way it will be added to other energy facilities, such as the IGB and the FSRU floating regasification unit in Alexandroupoli “. Kyriakos Mitsotakis also explained:

“Natural gas coming through the Trans Adriatic gas pipeline is already supplying the Balkans with the ultimate goal of having the gas from Alexandroupolis – why not – reach Ukraine and of course also contribute to lifting the energy isolation of Moldova, as TAP will supply Azerbaijani natural gas through Greece, Bulgaria and Romania”.

Mitsotakis noted with satisfaction the active pace of construction of the floating regasification plant in Alexandroupoli:

“A new dense network of energy routes is being formed in our region in the Balkans, in Europe and beyond. Greece and Bulgaria have a decisive role to play in the energy security of Europe, they can offer a wider range of services EU. We can provide energy security for a wide region.”

The Ministries of Energy of Greece and Bulgaria have signed another memorandum regarding the security of supplies and storage of natural gas. Mr. Mitsotakis noted that such a development of events is especially relevant in connection with the geopolitical situation in Ukraine. According to the Prime Minister, Russia is using energy as “a means of state blackmail”:

“Bulgarians are well aware of this, because last year Russia cut off natural gas to a neighboring country.”

In response, he pointed to the rapid abandonment of Russian fuel, in connection with which a memorandum was signed on the safety of natural gas storage. Based on it, the energy companies of the two countries can use the Siren facilities in Bulgaria and in the town of Revitusa near Athens for joint storage of natural gas. The Prime Minister is convinced that these critical infrastructures will ensure energy security:

“This bilateral agreement also has a European dimension, as it turns our countries into a crossroads for transporting gas to the whole of Europe. Thus, an alternative network of strategic importance is being formed.”

The head of the Greek government recalled that Greece had signed a similar agreement with Italy. It allows Greek companies to store gas in Italian storage facilities.

Rumen Radev, in turn, noted that the two countries had come to the conclusion that it was time to relaunch the Burgas-Alexandrupolis oil pipeline initiative, but in the opposite direction:

“The Alexandroupolis-Burgas oil pipeline is now of strategic importance for our country, as it gives us the possibility of a real phase-out of Russian oil. In this way, we will be able to avoid large delays caused by alternative supplies by tankers, which must necessarily pass through the Bosphorus.”

The President of Bulgaria emphasized that the traditional cooperation between the two countries was further strengthened thanks to these two memorandums and thanked the Greek Prime Minister for the access of Bulgarian gas companies to the facilities in Revitus, notingthat over the past year, the connection of the gas pipeline systems of the two countries has been completed, and the volume of electricity exports to Greece has increased:

“All this goes beyond a cross-border agreement. Greece and Bulgaria have proven to be pillars of stability in the region. This cooperation is changing the map of Southeast Europe, opening up new prospects for the two countries. The signing of the two memorandums is a continuation of the efforts of Greece and Bulgaria in the same direction.”

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