The Commissioner welcomes the Connecting Europe Facility.

The Connecting Europe Facility project grant for Bulgarian gas storage expansion.

The Connecting Europe Facility project grant for Bulgarian gas storage expansion is welcomed by the Commissioner.

Today, at the Energy Council meeting in Luxembourg, Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson welcomed the grant for funding a Bulgarian Project of Common Interest (PCI) for an underground gas storage facility. He did this with the Bulgarian Deputy Permanent Representative, Ivanka Tasheva, and the Executive Director of Bulgartransgaz EAD, Vladimir Malinov.

Bulgartransgaz EAD will get a grant of nearly €78 million from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)-Energy for the project. The grant will be used to expand the Chiren underground gas storage facility in Bulgaria.

The commissioner said:

I’m happy about this project, which is more important than ever for making sure that South-East Europe’s gas infrastructure is stable. The Chiren gas storage will help Bulgaria and the rest of the region deal with threats from Russia to cut off their gas supply. For these kinds of important infrastructure projects to get off the ground, EU funding is a must.
With the PCI, Bulgaria’s only place to store natural gas will be able to hold 1 billion cubic metres more. Bulgaria’s gas supply will be more reliable if another PCI that aims to repair, update, and expand the country’s transmission system and is co-funded by CEF-Energy (for a total of EUR 27.18 million) is also successful. Together, these projects will make it easier for countries nearby to connect with each other and help the area adjust to the new market realities.

The CEF has given more than 106 million euros to the two projects as a whole. The European Union’s help with the project will directly improve the security of gas supplies in the country and all of South-East Europe. It will also help make the energy market more connected and competitive.

Moving Markets

Brief history

Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) are projects that the European Commission has identified as a top priority for connecting the European Union’s energy system infrastructure, building a more integrated and resilient EU internal energy market, and reaching the ambitious climate and energy goals of the European Green Deal.

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a way for the EU to spend money to boost growth, jobs, and competitiveness by investing in infrastructure in specific places across Europe. From 2014 to 2020, it gave more than EUR 4.9 billion to help get Projects of Common Interest in energy off the ground.


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