08 May, 2008
Greece and Bulgaria have decided to set up a joint working group on matters of bilateral interest in the energy sector, such as the South Stream natural gas pipeline, the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, and hooking up their electricity grids, a development ministry announcement said on Wednesday, adding that the agreement was reached during a meeting on Tuesday in Athens between development minister Christos Folias and Bulgarian economy and energy minister Peter Dimitrov.
The construction of a second 400 KW electricity link between the two countries is progressing at a rapid pace, and will adequately increase power imports and exports between the two grids, the ministry announcement said.
It said Dimitrov had also congratulated Greece on the recent signing of an agreement with Russia for the South Stream natgas pipeline, calling it a "big success".
Dimitrov also thanked Greece for its support for Bulgaria's course to NATO and EU membership, stressing that his country, as a member, now, of the European family, was marking significant economic growth.
Folias, in turn, stressed the importance of good neighborhood relations between the two countries in the energy sector, and proposed acceleration of the timetables for materialization of the two pipelines.
Regarding the procurement of electricity, Folias underlined the importance of smooth transit of electrical power to Greece, via Bulgaria, from third countries.
The two ministers further agreed on a common principle of diversification of energy sources and routes that would ensure competitive prices and energy security, noting that South Stream would be supplementary to all other pipelines.
Source: Athens News Agency