Bulgaria, Romania to explore joint energy, infrastructure projects - govt

Wind turbines in the Baltic Sea. Author: Håkan Dahlström. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

SOFIA (Bulgaria), April 29 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria and Romania will look at joining forces in developing energy and infrastructure projects which will enhance connectivity and security in the region of Southeast Europe (SEE), including in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Bulgarian government said on Friday.

Bulgarian prime minister Kiril Petkov is meeting his Romanian counterpart Nicolae Chuca in Bucharest on Friday to discuss this and other areas where to deepen bilateral and regional co-operation, the government said in a press release.

Petkov will be accompanied by finance minister Asen Vasilev, environment minister Borislav Sandov, defence minister Dragomir Zakov, energy minister Alexander Nikolov as well as other government officials.

Bulgaria is set to propose the construction of a joint offshore wind park in the Black Sea, near the northern coastal town of Shabla, local media reported.

Danish and German investors with relevant project experience have already expressed interest in such potential development, but a lack of a regulatory framework is the main stumbling block at present, the environment minister said earlier, as quoted by news outlet Mediapool. Bulgaria has offshore wind potential for 116 GW in capacity, of which about 26 GW are able to be developed at present, according to a recent report presented in parliament and quoted by Mediapool.

Europe has about 116 offshore wind farms installed across 12 countries, but the bulk of the capacity is concentrated in North Sea waters, industry body WindEurope said in February. However, more countries are starting to open their territorial waters to floating and fixed offshore wind farms, including Poland, Greece and the Baltic states -- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania -- which are already developing projects.

In late 2020, the EU presented a strategy to boost offshore renewable energy, with the aim of increasing capacity to at least 60 GW by 2030 and to 300 GW by 2050. The move will play an important part in helping the bloc wean itself off Russian gas, in particular in light of Gazprom having ceased to supply to Poland and Bulgaria.

In February, German renewables developer wpd offshore unveiled plans to build two wind farms of a total of 1.9GW in Romanian Black Sea waters. Last month, wpd told Sofia-based media that it plans two wind park projects of 75-100 MW in total near the Bulgarian town of Balchik on the northern Black Sea coast.

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