Sofia: Bulgaria and Romania launched on Friday a long-delayed interconnector to link their gas transmission networks and diversify resources during possible cuts of Russian gas deliveries via Ukraine.
The 24-million-euro ($27 million) 25-kilometre (15.5-mile) pipeline links the Bulgarian city of Ruse to Romania`s Giurgiu, partially passing under the Danube river, Bulgaria`s economy and energy ministry announced.
"The launch of the interconnector fulfils one of the requirements of the European energy union for building the missing connection between the gas transportation systems of the countries," it said in a statement.
The pipeline has a maximum capacity to carry an annual 1.5 billion cubic metres of gas both ways.
EU member Bulgaria is totally dependent on Russia for its gas consumption.
The country also ships Russian gas coming through Ukraine to neighbouring Turkey, Greece and Macedonia but until recently its gas transportation network was not connected to those of any of its neighbours.
As a result the EU`s poorest country was among the hardest hit during a major cut of Russian gas deliveries via Ukraine in the winter of 2009 and has since launched several projects to link up to neighbouring Serbia and Romania.