Bulgaria to become key transit country ensuring gas supply to South-Eastern Europe from 2025

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The Vertical Gas Corridor is the key to the energy security of Ukraine, Moldova and the countries of South East Europe in the long term, confirmed the natural gas transmission system operator of Bulgaria, Bulgartransgaz after a working meeting with the Director-General of DG Energy of the European Commission, Ditte Juul Jørgensen.

Bulgaria’s Minister of Energy, Rumen Radev, the Deputy Energy Minister, Iva Petrova, and the Executive Director of Bulgarian Energy Holding, Ivan Andreev also attended the meeting.

“The connection of the gas transmission networks of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine and Moldova through the Vertical Gas Corridor will contribute significantly to the energy security in Europe. This strategic route will guarantee access to additional quantities of liquefied natural gas for the customers in Eastern Europe,” said Vladimir Malinov, head of Bulgartransgaz.

He added that increased capacities from Greece to Bulgaria and from Bulgaria to Romania will ensure the technical possibility for the transport of the additional quantities of natural gas, including from the Southern Gas Corridor and liquefied natural gas with the maximum use of the possibilities of the existing infrastructure.

The project for the increase of the capacity with Greece will furthermore provide the opportunity for the increase of the supply from alternative sources to North Macedonia to cover between 50 and 80 per cent of their daily consumption, informed Bulgartransgaz.

The transmission system operator of Bulgaria also presented a project for the construction of a supply gas transmission infrastructure to the coal regions which is included in the updated Climate Neutrality Roadmap as there is interest from coal plant operators to invest in gas-fired power plants. The project would allow them to implement their investment plans with no additional costs.

‘After the probable end of the transport of natural gas from Russia through Ukraine from the start of 2025, the Vertical Gas Corridor will be the only project that can provide both the required transport of liquefied natual gas and the continuation of the operation of the gas transmission network and the underground gas storage facilities in Ukraine,” the CEO of Bulgartransgaz explained.

Financing of the required investments for the implementation of the Vertical Corridor projects was also on the table. The total estimated cost of the two projects of Bulgartransgaz under the Vertical Corridor, including the design, procurement and construction, amounts to 300 million euros.

“Options are being sought for the financing of the projects, including by increasing the company’s capital, debt financing, state guarantees and European financing,” pointed out Mr Malinov noting that Bulgartransgaz already undertook targeted and coordinated preparatory activities to enable the timely implementation of the projects.

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