ATHENS, Greece — The Greek and Bulgarian prime ministers on Friday inaugurated a brand new vitality pipeline that can provide pure gasoline originating in Azerbaijan to Bulgaria, whose very important provide of Russian gasoline was lower off in April amid the fallout over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pressured the significance of the brand new hyperlink instead provide line for Bulgaria, as neighboring Greece is jockeying to turn out to be a regional vitality transport hub.
“This is not only a gasoline pipeline, however a vital south-north vitality bridge,” Mitsotakis mentioned throughout a ceremony in northeastern Greece.
Bulgaria’s appearing prime minister, Kiril Petkov, highlighted the pipeline’s position in ending Russia’s gasoline monopoly in his nation.
In late April, Russia lower off provides to Bulgaria after officers refused a requirement by Moscow to pay gasoline payments in rubles, Russia’s foreign money. Relations between the 2 former Soviet bloc allies have tanked in latest months, and final month Bulgaria ordered the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomats, triggering an offended response from Moscow.
The 182-kilometer (115-mile) pipeline inaugurated Friday will run from the northeastern Greek metropolis of Komotini to Stara Zagora in central Bulgaria with an preliminary capability of three billion cubic meters of gasoline, and the prospect of future growth to five million cubic meters. Bulgaria is anticipated to begin taking supply within the coming weeks.
Greece is trying to function an vitality hub for the Balkans, utilizing fossil fuels from the Caspian and the southeastern Mediterranean, and, doubtlessly renewable vitality from Egypt, to produce the area amid the fallout of the conflict in Ukraine.
Greece can also be constructing a liquefied pure gasoline terminal off the northeastern port of Alexandroupolis, close to Komotini.