The International Bank for Economic Co-operation has provided a loan to Bulgartransgaz EAD, which is a combined operator performing licensed activities of natural gas transmission and storage in Bulgaria. The loan agreement was signed at the Bulgarian Embassy in Moscow in the presence of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Mr. Atanas Krastin on October 22 - the 56th anniversary of the IBEC foundation.
Financing in the amount of 50 million euros was aimed at covering investment costs associated with the implementation of the important development project of energy infrastructure, the Balkan Stream. The largest international banks took part in financing together with IBEC: Citibank Europe, ING Bank, Unicredit Bulbank JSC. In total, a consortium of banks provided 200 million euros.
The Balkan Stream is an important infrastructure project, which provides gas supply through the territory of Bulgaria from the Turkish border to the territory of Serbia. The total project cost is 1.1 billion euros, the length of the pipeline is 474 km.
The construction contract, which will be implemented by a consortium led by the Saudi company Arkad Engineering, was signed in September this year. During the ceremony, the Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zakharieva noted, that this project was very important not only for Bulgaria, but also for the entire Balkan region.
The project is of strategic importance for the East European IBEC member countries: Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia. Thus, IBEC’s participation in the Balkan Stream directly meets interests of these participating countries at once, ensuring the energy security of the Southern Europe region.
Financing provided by the consortium of banks will contribute to the timely implementation of the project. By the end of 2021 the Balkan Stream should start working at full capacity.