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Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline construction to start in 2010

  The construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline will start in 2010, the Greek development minister said after a meeting with the president of Russia’s state pipeline operator, Transneft.

“Being guided by today’s data, we estimate that the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project can start in 2010,” Kostis Khatzidhakis told journalists. He assured Transneft’s Nikolai Tokarev that the Greek government would submit a draft law to parliament by June 2009 that would expedite construction of the pipeline.

“The oil pipeline will be defined as a project of national significance to resolve secondary problems we could face as well as bureaucratic difficulties. We want to move as fast as possible. I believe this is the wish of both the Russian and Bulgarian sides,” he added.

Russia, Bulgaria and Greece signed a memorandum on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline in April 2005. Once completed, the pipeline will pump 35 million metric tons of oil a year (257 million bbl), a volume that could eventually be increased to 50 million metric tons (368 million bbl).

Under an inter-governmental agreement signed in 2007, Russia holds 51% in the project company, while Greece and Bulgaria hold 24.5% each. Tokarev said the project is not aimed against third countries but will raise the reliability of supplying Europe with energy. (