By Emea Riga
The BRUA project is a priority for the Romanian Government, as it is of particular importance to Romania's security and independence, Deputy Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said on Tuesday.
A signing ceremony for works contracts on the BRUA natural gas pipeline - Phase 1 was held in Bucharest at the Government House, under the BRUA Project.
'The BRUA project is a priority(...) as it is a very important project to Romania's energy security and independence (...) We are witnessing the signing of the contracts for the conduct of the first phase of the 478-km natural gas pipeline between Podisor and Recas and three compressor stations (...) The total investment is estimated at 480 million euros, of which approximately 180 million come in non-repayable funds,' said Ciolacu.
According to him, on February 27, the Romanian Ministry of Energy issued the building permit, and procedures for awarding the works were subsequently carried out.
'BRUA is a project between Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria, with its main priority being an increase in Romania's energy security. More than 4,000 new jobs are estimated to be created under the project, while demand for consumer goods should also increase due to the creation of the new jobs; additional revenues will be raised for the national budget, gas resources will be diversified and Romania's energy security improved, as other investment and related businesses are boosted and local economy is stimulated to grow by increasing land value near the new pipeline; at the same time, the number of households and business operators getting access will also increase,' said Ciolacu.
He added that the Government still has several energy priorities, including: protecting vulnerable household consumers who for various reasons do not have access to natural gas, alleviate energy poverty and fully regulate gas purchase prices.
Economy Minister Gheorghe Simon said BRUA is a strategic project of great importance to Romania, and also to the architecture of the regional and European energy system.
'We are expressing our hope (...) that all other partners will deploy the necessary efforts and display seriousness, so that the completion of BRUA will be on schedule and under promised conditions,' said Simon.
Energy Minister Toma Petcu said he expects the other states under the project to follow Romania's example.
'The signing today puts Romania on schedule with its commitment to the European Union and to the partners involved in this project, and we expect the other states to follow suit. The BRUA project is of major importance to the regional security equation, to the optimisation of the flow of natural gas in the region and the resolution of technical problems, the pressure difference between the national transmission systems of the member states in the region, which do not allow cross-border natural gas transmission under the best conditions. (...) Under BRUA, Romania has a chance to double its role of a regional energy pole and in the natural gas area,' added Petcu.
Signing the contracts were Ion Sterian, general manager of Romania's Transgaz SA national natural gas transmission corporation; Karl Leidenfrost, managing director of the Austrian Habau PPS Pipeline Systems, and Petre Mustatea, general manager of Inspet SA Ploiesti.
During the ceremony, Leidenfrost gave assurances that the project will be completed on time and under the promised conditions.
'I want to congratulate all the constructors who have won the auction, and warn them ate the same time that there will be no shortcuts as far as quality and completion schedule are concerned,' said Sterian.