Bulgarian “Bulgartransgaz” participates in studies to increase the capacity at the interconnection points with Greece and Romania

“Bulgartransgaz” has announced collaborative technical studies with Greek operator “DESFA” (DESFA SA) to enhance the Tower/Sidirokastro capacity. They’ve also partnered with Romanian operator “Transgaz” (Transgaz SA) for Negru Voda 1/Kardam and Ruse/Giurgevo, and with Greece-Bulgaria interconnector “ICGB” to boost capacity near Stara Zagora. This move is driven by rising market demand for additional capacity at these interconnection points, following Regulation (EU) 2017/459.

Vladimir Malinov, Bulgartransgaz’s executive director, emphasized that the forecasts for natural gas transmission services from south to north greatly exceed existing capacities. He attributed this demand surge to the growing role of liquefied natural gas in the EU and the expansion of LNG terminals in Greece, along with the plans to increase flows along the Southern Gas Corridor.

Malinov mentioned high commercial interest in the non-binding market test phase, particularly for Kulata/Sidirokastro and Kardam/Negru Voda points. This indicates a consistent trend of increasing demand for natural gas transmission from south to north along the Vertical Gas Corridor.

Additionally, the independent transmission operator ICGB reported successful completion of the non-binding phase for additional capacity of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector, starting with a market interest survey in July.

“Bulgartransgaz” stressed the significance of EU projects of common interest, such as expanding the underground gas storage in Chiren and the Bulgaria-Serbia interconnector. Their involvement in the liquefied gas terminal near Alexandroupolis, in which they hold a 20% stake, enhances supply flexibility for natural gas traders and access to new markets.

Preliminary technical studies are set to wrap up by January 15, 2024, followed by public consultations until February 16, 2024. Project proposals will then go to national regulatory authorities for approval, with a binding market test phase planned for July 1, 2024.

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