Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), which pools all state-owned energy assets, said it has acquired full control of the local unit of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International project company.
BEH's main objective in the acquisition was to ensure 100 percent Bulgarian ownership of the environmental impact assessment of the project on the country's territory, which is valid until April 15, 2018, as well as keep in Bulgarian possession the results of research works, for use in potential future projects, the company told SeeNews.
The value of the transaction was not disclosed. Similar acquisitions of assets have been implemented on the Austrian and Hungarian sections of the projected pipeline route, BEH said.
Partners in the Nabucco project abandoned in 2013 were Austria's OMV, Bulgaria's Bulgargaz, Turkey's Botas, Romania's Transgaz and Hungary's FGSZ, a subsidiary of MOL.
"At an earlier stage, there were signs of interest in the purchase of the assets of the project by an intermediary of an unknown foreign investor, which, in case a deal was concluded, would have led to uncertainty about the beneficiary and the purpose of such purchase of assets, including those located on Bulgarian territory," BEH said.
The Nabucco pipeline was planned to take Caspian gas from the Turkish-Bulgarian border and carry it via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to the Central European Gas Hub at Baumgarten, in Austria.
Nabucco West, a downsized version of the original Nabucco pipeline, was competing with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline for access to gas from the giant Azerbaijani Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea. However, in June 2013, the Shah Deniz Consortium selected the Trans Adriatic Pipeline as the gas transportation route.