Szeged-Arad gas pipeline to become functional by March 2010

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A pipeline that will connect Romania’s National Gas Transmission System to Hungary’s transmission system, from Arad to Szeged, will become operational in February-March 2010, and a pipeline linking together the Romanian and Bulgarian transmission systems will be set in place by end-June, 2011, running from Ruse, Bulgaria, to Giurgiu, Romania.

Under a strategy for interconnection with the neighbour countries released by Romania’s Transgaz National Natural Gas Transmission Corporation, the initial operational capacity of the pipeline will be 1.7 billion cubic metres a year, which could be extended to a maximum of 4.4 billion cubic metres. The pipeline project is valued at 68.2 million euros, 48 percent of which will be contributed by Transgaz. The pipeline will cover 109 km, 62 km of which will be in Romania.

‘An assessment of the data in the call for financing proposals concerning the pipeline indicates that the European organisations involved and the beneficiaries will sign the financing contract in 2010. Construction works were concluded in late 2009 and the interconnection mainline at the border area will follow, which is conditional upon the signing of an intergovernmental agreement between Romania and Hungary, so that the commissioning date may be set for the first quarter of 2010,’ reads the Transgaz strategy.

The pipeline linking together the Romanian and Bulgarian transmission systems will be set in place by end-June, 2011, running from Ruse, Bulgaria, to Giurgiu, Romania should be commissioned in 2011, according to Transgaz. The pipeline will run nearly 8.4 km in Romania, a portion that includes the underpass of the Danube, and its value is put at 27.6 million euros, nearly 46 percent of which will be covered by Transgaz.

Officials of Transgaz and Bulgartansgaz met in the second half of 2009, also joined by officials of Bulgarian Energy Holding, and signed a memorandum of understanding between the two natural gas transmission operators to carry out the pipeline project. The maximum transmission capacity of the pipeline is 1.5 billion cubic metres a year, with a minimum of 500 million cubic metres. The interconnection project between Romania and Bulgaria has been approved by the European Commission under a European energy recovery programme.

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