North Macedonia eyes another pipeline to get Azerbaijani gas
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec.13
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
North Macedonia intends to build a gas pipeline with Bulgaria in order to get access to Azerbaijani gas, Trend reports citing Central European Financial Observer.
Reportedly, representatives of North Macedonian-Bulgarian and the Bulgarian-North Macedonian chambers of commerce presented an initiative for the construction of a gas pipeline linking the eastern North Macedonian town of Strumica with the nearby Bulgarian town of Petrich.
The initiative was presented to both North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov. It envisions the establishment of a joint venture between the two countries, which will draft the project and seek funding for its implementation. The pipeline is estimated to cost between 20-25 million euros and take around three months to be completed.
Zaev noted that there is an existing gas connection network between Strumica and Petrich, which carries compressed natural gas from Bulgaria to North Macedonia.
He said that a second pipeline will improve the overall energy connections between the two countries and improve the access of both countries to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the Aegean terminals in Greece.
He added that his country has already received a grant from the Western Balkans Investment Fund for interconnection with Greece but the connection with Bulgaria has to be financed by the two countries themselves. Still, he expressed hope that the EU will provide additional support because it sees natural gas as a perspective for all countries.
TAP project, worth 4.5 billion euros, is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union (EU). The project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz Stage 2 to the EU countries.
Connecting with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) at the Greek-Turkish border, TAP will cross Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Southern Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas network.
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