Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Evgenii Chachev and the chief of the State Agency for Energy and Energy Resources, Ivan Shilyashki, broke the ground Saturday for a 400-kV power line between Bulgaria and Turkey. The power line starts at the border line near the border checkpoint of Kapitan Andreevo. The new power line will be the second link between the power grids of the two countries and will be built under a long-term contract for export of Bulgarian electricity to Turkey to the amount of some 4,000 million kWh a year with a maximum capacity of 700 MW. The project also includes expansion and refurbishment of the 400-kV distribution facility at the Maritsa Iztok 3 power plant. There are 59.589 km from the power plant to the border. The construction of the power line will take 53 million leva (1 lev = 1 Deutsche mark). Shilyashki believes that construction will be over this autumn when the practical linkup between Bulgaria and Turkey will be done. Three Bulgarian companies are contractors in the project. They will employ about 600 local people for the construction works. Chachev said in an address at the ground-breaking ceremony that the site is one of the priorities on the investment programme of the Government. The facility will be a major step towards a moment when Bulgaria will be an energy hub in the Balkans and Southeastern Europe.