Official: Azerbaijani gas soon to be pumped to Bulgaria
By Ayya Lmahamad
Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov has said that his country is expecting Azerbaijani gas supplies via the new Bulgarian-Greek gas pipeline to start in July, Azernews reports, citing day.az.
"Our next big victory, which I hope we will achieve in July, will be the launch of a gas pipeline with Greece through which Azerbaijani gas will be pumped," he said.
The prime minister added that this week he will also visit Baku to confirm the volume of gas deliveries.
"We'll have a billion cubic meters of gas, which will be supplied very soon. I expect that in July and August one billion cubic meters of gas will be supplied to Bulgaria at a price that is currently several times lower than the market one," he said.
Moreover, Petkov stated that negotiations on a long-term contract for the supply of U.S. liquefied gas are continuing.
"We have not finalized the issue of American gas. We keep thinking what are the best long-term contracts out there. We are trying to create a mix of liquefied and Azerbaijani gas so that the average price is more favorable than that of Gazprom so that we can be sure that the Bulgarian economy will remain competitive and diversified," he added.
Azerbaijan and Bulgaria agreed to supply 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year through the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria in 2021. However, because the IGB is still under construction, Azerbaijani gas is delivered to Bulgaria via the Kulata-Sidirokastro interconnection point. Currently, the country receives only one-third of this volume.
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 km, 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.
A cooperation memorandum has been signed between ICGB AD and TAP AG regarding joint actions in relation to the future connection of the IGB pipeline and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline.
The IGB project is critical in terms of increasing supply security and diversifying gas supplies for Bulgaria and the SEE region.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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