ROMANIA MONITOR

Date: 10 September 2019

Delays in the BRHA gas pipeline construction. Archaeologists to blame

During the earthworks in the Gorj county in the south of Romania archaeological sites were found. Now, they have to be examined before they are damaged. This means delays in the construction of the BRHA gas pipeline.

SOURCE: ROMANIAJOURNAL.RO

The BRHA (Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria) gas pipeline is to enable the transport of gas from the Black Sea area. However, during the construction works of this main energy line, several problems occurred. Archaeological sites were found in the Gorj county. Now, comprehensive excavation works need to be conducted which may significantly delay the construction.

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Archaeological sites are expected to occur at a distance of ten kilometres. Only a part of such objects can be predicted thanks to the sites localised in the past. Investments regarding the earthworks always involve such a risk.

The investment has started in the first quarter of this year and even then the delays were being taken into consideration as all decisions have been made yet in 2017 by the then Minister of Energy Toma Petcu. At that time, it was planned that the construction of the gas pipeline will have been finished by the end of 2020. In the current situation, the deadline is not certain.

Even though nothing seems to suggest that, one can expect more problems during this investment. For instance, the protest of environmentalists as the pipeline is to go through valuable areas of Natura 2000.

Eventually, the gas pipeline is to enable transport of gas extracted in the Black Sea area. Combined with other investments, in the future, it will enable transport of the raw material from the Caspian Sea. The gas pipeline is to transport six billion cubic metres of gas a year – 4.4 billion to Hungary and Austria and 1.5 billion through a pipeline to Bulgaria.

In Romania, the gas pipeline is to be almost 550 kilometres long. The cost of the entire investment amounts to 479 billion euro. When it is finished, it will allow Romania to fully exploit gas fields located in its territorial waters.

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