The Nabucco consortium has approached the European Investment Bank and may seek up to €2bn financing to build its natural gas pipeline, according to a Reuters report.

The consortium will have to pass legislation that approves the pipeline’s transit in its home countries before the bank would be willing to sign off such a loan, EIB Vice-President Mathias Kollatz-Ahnen said.

Of the five transit countries, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria have ratified the agreements for the €7.9bn European Union-backed pipeline.

International finance institutions have said they are willing to finance the project if the pipeline consortium is able to secure gas for the line, which could meet 5% of Europe’s gas requirements.