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Wednesday May 25 2022

Bulgaria to receive gas from Azerbaijan from July 2022

13 May 2022 17:55 (UTC+04:00)
Bulgaria to receive gas from Azerbaijan from July 2022

By Ayya Lmahamad

Bulgaria will be able to get gas from Azerbaijan in full from July 1, 2022, Azernews reports.

“We will be able to get full gas from Azerbaijan from July 1, this delivery does not depend on the completion of the interconnector with Greece,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov said.

In the light of recent global events, Azerbaijan is viewed as one of the most reliable suppliers of energy resources in Europe. Nowadays, the Southern Gas Corridor plays a very important role for the countries of southeastern Europe.

With the completion of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline construction on December 31, 2020, Azerbaijan began commercial gas supplies to Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor. Last year, TAP transported 8.1 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, and by late 2022, Azerbaijan plans to increase gas supplies to this destination to 9.1 billion cubic meters.

Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria

Speaking about Azerbaijani gas supplies to Bulgaria, it is worth noting that both countries agreed to supply 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year through the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria starting in 2021.

However, because the interconnector is still under construction, Azerbaijani gas is delivered to Bulgaria via the Kulata-Sidirokastro interconnection point. Currently, the country receives only one-third of the agreed volume.

Earlier, it was reported that the IGB will be commissioned in late June 2022 and the pumping of Azerbaijani gas through it will start in September.

The IGB project is being carried out by the joint venture company ICGB AD, established in Bulgaria in 2011 and owned by Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD and IGI Poseidon.

The IGB gas pipeline will connect to the Greek national gas transmission system in Komotini and the Bulgarian national gas transmission system in Stara Zagora. The pipeline's planned length is 182 kilometers, with a capacity of up to 3 billion cubic meters per year in the direction from Greece to Bulgaria. The pipeline is designed to increase its capacity up to 5 bcm/y depending on market interest and the capacities of neighboring gas transmission systems.

Southern Gas Corridor

The Southern Gas Corridor plays a pivotal role in ensuring Europe’s energy security. It secures the diversification of gas supplies to Europe and allows it to receive cheaper gas. Many European countries have already expressed interest in purchasing Azerbaijani gas and increasing the gas supplies via the Southern Gas Corridor.

It is worth noting that the SGC project provides for the participation of not only Azerbaijan but also other states. In this regard, negotiations are underway with Turkmenistan. By attracting other countries to the Southern Gas Corridor, Azerbaijan will be able to receive additional income for transit, which can be attributed to profits from the non-oil sector.

Moreover, Azerbaijan is now actively implementing the second phase of the Shah Deniz project, which will increase the volume of natural gas supplies to the SGC.

Simultaneously, Azerbaijan is implementing large-scale projects related to the development of renewable energy sources, which will make it possible to redirect the saved gas to the Southern Gas Corridor. In this regard, by generating electricity with renewable energy sources, it will be possible to export more gas volumes to the global market, allowing for an additional inflow of foreign currency into the country's economy.

Azerbaijan is also planning to start the production of hydrogen raw materials. This type of fuel today is one of the most in-demand, and its role is growing. It is possible to say that there are prospects of supplying not only natural gas but also hydrogen through the Southern Gas Corridor.

Taking into account Azerbaijan’s proven gas potential, the country has all the opportunities to increase the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor, diversify its export opportunities, increase European energy security and strengthen its credibility as a reliable energy partner.

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Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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