The US welcomes Bulgaria’s aspirations to become a regional natural gas hub by completing the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), which envisages transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Bulgaria, reads the joint statement released by the Bulgarian Prime Minister and the US President after the White House meeting, Trend reports with reference to the White House.
“We welcome Bulgaria’s aspirations to become a regional natural gas hub by completing the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria, taking a stake and booking capacity in Greece’s Alexandroupolis floating storage and regasification unit, liberalizing its domestic gas market, expanding gas storage capacity and access, working with Serbia to build another interconnector, and investing in the reverse flow capacity of the Trans Balkan Pipeline to diversify Eastern Europe’s gas imports in compliance with the rules of the European Union. These steps together will significantly enhance Bulgaria’s energy security, lower energy costs for the Bulgarian consumer, and make Bulgaria an energy leader in the region,” reads the statement.
The United States and Bulgaria understand that energy security is national security, said the statement.
“We underline our common understanding that the diversification of energy sources is a guarantee of energy security, independence, and competitiveness for our economies.”
IGB is a gas pipeline, which will allow Bulgaria to receive Azerbaijani gas, in particular, the gas produced from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz 2 gas and condensate field. IGB is expected to be connected to TAP via which gas from the Shah Deniz field will be delivered to the European markets.
The Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria project envisages a two-stage development.
In the first stage, the pipeline capacity will be 3 billion cubic meters of gas, of which 2.7 billion cubic meters will be offered for the long-term market, the remaining share of 0.3 billion cubic meters in the short term.
In a second phase, also depending on the evolution of the market, the capacity of the pipeline can be increased to 5.3 billion cubic meters of gas thanks to the addition of a compression station: 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas 0.5 billion cubic meters of short-term gas will be offered for long-term products.
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