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Bulgarian parliament ratifies oil pipeline deal with Greece, Russia

Bulgaria's National Assembly has voted to allow the construction of a long-delayed oil pipeline linking Bulgarian Burgas and Greek Alexandroupolis, Sofia News Agency reported on Wednesday.

There were 109 voted in favor, 19 against, and 3 abstentions. The 280-km pipeline will transport crude oil from Bulgaria's Black Sea port Burgas to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis. In Athens in March, representatives of the three countries signed the deal under which the Russian firms will control a 51% stake in the venture, including infrastructure like pumping stations, storage facilities, while Bulgaria and Greece will share the remaining 49%. Construction of the pipeline, which will cost $700-900 million, is expected to begin next year and finish within 18 months. Once completed, the pipeline will have an initial annual capacity of 35 million tons, which could be later expanded to 50 million tons. (people.com.cn)