Bulgaria proceeds with plans to build Turk Stream extension

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Bulgaria's state-run gas network operator Bulgartransgaz is relaunching a 1.4 billion euro ($1.6 billion) tender to expand the country's gas transport system from Turkey to Serbia.

The company said Thursday that bids for construction of the 484-kilometer (300-miles) pipeline to transit mainly Russian gas to the border with Serbia will be accepted until March 6.

Last year, Bulgaria adopted a new energy strategy that includes plans for a pipeline that could be linked to Gazprom's Turk Stream project. Its two pipelines are designed to carry 15.7 billion cubic meters of gas across the Black Sea and would allow Russian gas deliveries to Europe to bypass Ukraine, the traditional transit gas route to the West.

Energy issues will be discussed during next week's visit by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

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