Russian Stroytransgaz quits Bulgarian South Strem Gas Pipeline project
Gennady Timchenko, the majority owner of Russian company Stroytransgaz, stated that Stroytransgaz, which had been commissioned the construction of the Bulgarian party of the South Stream Gas Pipeline project, is pulling out of the project, the Bulgarian newswire Novinite reported Aug. 4.
“We decided to leave the project in order not to expose it to risk of collapse,” Timchenko said, as cited by the newswire.
Timchenko also alleged that US Senator John McCain had “brought local (Bulgarian) authorities round” to renounce Stroytransgaz’s services.
According to local media reports, Centrgaz, a subsidiary of Russian Gazprom, is due to replace Stroytransgaz as the main South Stream Gas Pipeline’s contractor in Bulgaria.
Outgoing Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski publicly halted the Bulgarian section of the South Stream Gas Pipeline project on June 8, shortly after the meeting with the US senator John McCain. Oresharski’s actions at the time, gave ground to claims that the US had forced Bulgaria into stopping the project.
Stroytransgaz sparked controversy in Bulgaria in March when local media reported that it was to win the then still ongoing tender for the construction of the Bulgarian part of the South Stream Gas Pipeline project later, and Stroytransgaz did win in May, amid suspicions of flawed public procurement procedures, which were later also questioned by the European Commission. It is also worth to add that the company’s majority shareholder, Gennady Timchenko, has been a subject of the US sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine.
Photo courtesy of Stanqo.