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Romanian Energy Minister Toma Petcu in Sofia: BRUA is a project of common interest,

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Romanian Energy Minister Toma Petcu and his Bulgarian counterpart Temenuzhka Petkova met on Tuesday in Sofia to discuss the establishment of a power contingency plan to be accessed by either state in critical situations, like that occurred in the previous winter, the Energy Ministry said in release on Wednesday. 

As far as natural gas supplies are concerned, Minister Petcu reaffirmed Romania's interest in developing the BRUA gas pipeline project and told his Bulgarian counterpart that Romania will complete by 2019 all the works under the first phase of the project. 

"BRUA is a project of common interest, so we consider that all the countries involved must have the works completed by the same time, to allow the interconnection at planned capacity and start preparations for the second phase. Romania intends to further the discussions on this subject and to advance the historical collaboration with Bulgaria. I think it's time for us to move on to the next step and I'd like us to do this together," Energy Minister Toma Petcu said. 

In her turn, the Bulgarian Energy Minister said that Bulgaria supports any gas supply diversification project that guarantees the region's energy security. 

The second theme was the development of new interconnections of Romania and Bulgaria's power grids. In this context, Minister Petcu brought into discussion the plan to build an energy transmission network in the Black Sea coast region, between Romania and Bulgaria, as well as the project of the subsea energy cable to Turkey via Bulgaria. 

Another subject discussed was the establishment of a power contingency plan to be accessed by either of the two countries in critical situations like that in the past winter. Romania is negotiating similar agreements with Hungary and Serbia, with a view to expanding such a mechanism to all the states in the region. 

The two Ministers also agreed on the need to set up working groups tasked with finding solutions for the standardization of power trading mechanisms in the two countries, so as to integrate the energy markets of the South Eastern European countries with the European single market. 

Minister Petcu also referred to the construction of a Danube hydropower plant in the area of Turnu Magurele-Nikopol. This project would benefit both countries not only as regards the power supply, but also as far as the navigation on the Danube and road and rail freight traffic between Romania and Bulgaria are concerned. The two Ministers agreed to continue the dialogue on this subject, given that the latest meeting of the Romania - Bulgaria joint committee set up for this purpose in 2011 took place in 2014. 

Energy Minister Petcu proposed his Bulgarian counterpart that both countries, together with other EU members, should agree on a common stance on the Community legislation on the cut of carbon emissions. Having in view Romania and Bulgaria's preparations for taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2019, a common stance of the countries where coal-fired power plants account for an important share of the energy mix would strengthen their position in the relationship with European Commission.



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