Slovakia Signs Up to Strategic Eastring Gas Pipeline Project

Four East European countries, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, signed a Joint Declaration during a summit of EU leaders in the Latvia’s capital, proposing the construction of either a 832-kilometer long pipeline running across Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, or its larger 1274-kilometer long version, which should reach Bulgaria, too.

Essential pipelines (c) Jarle Vines

“The Parties to this document hereby declare their support for the implementation of interconnection and substantial bidirectional capacity of existing infrastructure for natural gas supply on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and the Slovak Republic and for joint efforts to seek new sources and routes of diversification,” the document says.

The new project, tentatively called Eastring, would use the existing infrastructure of the Eustream pipeline in the Slovak territory. Eustream’s transmission network underwent a complete overhaul following the 2009 gas crisis, with diversification becoming a priority and the introduction of the reverse flow option from the west.

The pipeline is projected to transport gas in both directions between sources in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Cyprus and Russia and its European destinations, or reverse flows from Western European terminals. The first stage of the project should be completed in 2018.

By Lubica Schulczova,

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