With an overarching goal of increased energy independence from Russia, southeastern European countries Romania and Bulgaria have contracted with Habua, an Austrian construction company, to complete the remaining 2.1 km section of the gas interconnector for a cost of 4.577 million euros.
The gas link between the Bulgarian city of Ruse and Giurgiu in Romania has a total length of 25 km, 15.4 km of which are in Bulgaria. The rest is in Romania, including the 2.1 km crossing under the Danube.
The pipeline will have a maximum transport capacity of 1.5 billion cubic metres of gas per year from Bulgaria to Romania, and an initial capacity of 500 million cubic meters per year from Romania to Bulgaria.
Over the past several years the Balkan states have been intensifying their cooperation in the field of natural gas distribution, reflecting the aims of the larger New European Transmission System, which is designed to unite Central and Southeastern Europe's natural gas transmission networks. The Arad - Szeged pipeline connecting Romania to Bulgaria was the first project in this regard. Inaugurated in 2010, the pipeline is 109 km long and can transit 4.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.
In 2015, a new pipeline was inaugurated connecting Lasi, in eastern Romania, with Ungheni in Moldova. But this 45 km pipeline can transport gas only from Romania to Moldova. It, too, aims to help the former Soviet republic reduce its reliance on gas imports from Russia.