South Stream Transport: Pipeline Will Not Harm the Environment (Bulgaria)

South Stream Transport has published the Bulgarian Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report. The EIA Report contains the findings of the environmental studies for the construction and operation of the Bulgarian Sector of the South Stream Offshore Pipeline, and concludes that the environment will not be significantly affected by the Project.

The EIA Report is the result of thorough research by a team of Bulgarian and international experts. Since 2009, more than 16,500 kilometres of environmental and cultural heritage surveys have been performed along the entire offshore route, including with the use of special sonar equipment and robotic underwater vehicles equipped with cameras. Surveys were also carried out to examine the short landfall section near Varna, including the shore crossing. With the help of this research, experts assessed the potential impacts of the pipeline on environmental, social and cultural heritage. They also identified measures to avoid or minimize any adverse impacts or to enhance any benefits, for example by sharing survey data with academic institutes for further research.

New construction technique will preserve Pasha Dere Beach

In previous consultations, people in Bulgaria expressed concerns about how construction of the pipeline could affect Pasha Dere Beach, at the landfall location near Varna. As part of the EIA, South Stream Transport has developed an alternative construction method. Instead of burying the pipeline under the beach, four micro-tunnels will be used to install the 4 pipelines underground. The tunnels, with a diameter of 2.4 metres, will pass approximately 20 metres below the beach, without any construction or digging works taking place at the surface.

Oleg Aksyutin, CEO of South Stream Transport: “We are using modern construction techniques to preserve the beach during construction. There will be no digging or construction works on the beach itself, and the tunnels will be entirely invisible.”

The South Stream Offshore Pipeline through the Black Sea is the offshore component of the South Stream Pipeline System which will increase the security of supply of natural gas from Russia to Central and South-Eastern Europe as it creates a new supply route and provides additional transport capacity. The South Stream Offshore Pipeline will have a length of 931 km, originating from the Russian Black Sea shore in the area of Anapa, cross the Turkish Exclusive Economic Zone in the Black Sea and land on the Bulgarian coast near Varna.

The Bulgarian Sector of the Project will be approximately 2360 km in length. It runs from the border between the Turkish and the Bulgarian Exclusive Economic Zone in the Black Sea, to the landfall in Bulgaria. From there, natural gas will be transported through the country by South Stream Bulgaria AD and further by other joint ventures into South-Eastern and Central Europe. Commercial operations are scheduled to start by the end of 2015. When fully operational, the South Stream Offshore Pipeline will consist of four pipeline strings and reach an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic metres.

November 19, 2013

 

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