‘Game-changing for energy in Europe’

“Today begins a new era for Bulgaria and Southeast Europe,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the opening ceremony in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. According to von der Leyen, the pipeline is a “game changer for Bulgaria and energy security in Europe” and means “freedom from dependence on Russian gas.”

Bulgaria at one point imported as much as 80 percent of its gas from Russia. The 182-kilometer pipeline between the Greek city of Komotini and Stara Zagora in central Bulgaria connects the country with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline. Gas is transported from Azerbaijan via Turkey to Greece and Italy.

The pipeline between Bulgaria and Greece has a capacity of three to five billion cubic meters of gas per year. Von der Leyen confirmed that the new connection could cover the entire consumption of Bulgarian gas. The project, which was supported by European funds, has been in progress since 2009.

“Through strategic cooperation between Bulgaria and Greece, we can achieve stability in the region,” said Bulgarian President Rumen Radev. The opening ceremony was also attended by the presidents of Azerbaijan, North Macedonia and Serbia, and the prime ministers of Greece and Romania.

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