BTA News

Two Bulgarian Ministers, US Secretary of Energy Discuss Energy Security, Diversification, New Nuclear Capacities

Bulgarian Ministers Rumen Radev of Energy and Assen Vassilev of Finance met with US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm in Washington, D. C., the Energy Ministry reported on Wednesday. They discussed cooperation in nuclear technology for civil purposes, the construction of two new AP1000 reactors at the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, cooperation and training of personnel in the energy sector, diversification, energy security and connectivity. Also on the agenda was the transition to renewable energy sources and innovative technologies as well as limiting carbon emissions.

The visit is of strategic importance, because the energy sector has a central position in the bilateral dialogue, the press release reads.

Radev underscored it is important to focus the efforts on exchanging knowledge and practice on long-term storage of processed nuclear fuel. “The European Union and the United States remain world leaders in the development of new technologies related to the production and use of green hydrogen. This is the future energy resource that will not only allow us to achieve climate neutrality but will also boost industry and help create new jobs,” Radev added.

Granholm talked about the creation of seven hydrogen hubs in the US and the opportunities for partnership.

The Bulgarian Energy Minister stressed that cooperation and building cross-border contacts become key for energy security and sustainability. He presented Bulgaria’s new initiative to build a joint infrastructure between Bulgaria, Romania and Greece, including offshore wind, renewable energy, hydrogen and charging stations, as well as the launch of a new joint project between Bulgaria and Romania for a large hydroelectric power plant on the Danube. He stressed the importance of this innovative approach to energy security in the region.

Finance Minister Vassilev expressed appreciation for the US’ support in Bulgaria’s efforts to diversify energy sources and reduce dependence on a single supplier. Vassilev placed special emphasis on the North South project, which aims to create optimal connectivity of the energy, digital and transport systems of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. “Against the backdrop of the expiring gas transit contract between Russia and Ukraine, the Southern Gas Corridor and North South connectivity will be increasingly crucial,” Vassilev said. He reiterated the need for diversity in energy sources, especially in the context of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which has exposed the vulnerabilities in Europe’s energy security.

Granholm expressed her appreciation for the opportunity for cooperation between the United States and Bulgaria in the field of  nuclear technology for civilian purpose.

Nuclear energy and diversification were also the focus of the meeting of the two Bulgarian ministers at the US Department of State, where they held talks with Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt. “Bulgaria deserves tremendous credit for the work it has done to secure alternative gas sources and corridors,” said Pyatt. The US Department of State sees as a good sign Bulgaria, Romania and Greece working together on the North South project.