Bulgargaz CEO: Bulgaria Won't Suffer Natural Gas Shortage
Dimitar Gogov, CEO of state-owned gas supplier Bulgargaz, has assured that Bulgaria will not face a gas supply shortage in 2013.
In a Tuesday interview Gogov refuted an earlier statement by Alexander Petrov, head of a department at Bulgargaz, who hinted at a potential scarcity of natural gas in the first quarter of 2013.
Gogov made clear that around 380 – 400 million cubic meters of natural gas from the Chiren underground gas storage were used in one season lasting from October to March or April of the following year.
"We decided this year that we would not exceed the volume for two reasons. One is the lack of fresh money to buy larger quantities of gas. The second reason, which is more important, is that we are fighting for better terms of the new gas supply contract. If this contract is signed, there is no economic logic to justify injecting more gas at one of the most expensive rates. This would only place an extra burden during the following pricing periods," Gogov explained.
The CEO of Bulgargaz made clear that the idea was to deplete reserves of expensive gas at the Chiren UGS by April 1, 2013 so as to be able to inject better-priced natural gas after that.
Gogov reiterated his optimistic forecast that the state-owned gas firm would succeed to negotiate better terms of the next gas supply contract with Russia.
He specified that the contract would be signed directly between Bulgargaz and Gazprom Export.
Gogov noted that Sofia heating utility, Toplofikatsiya Sofia, was the biggest debtor of Bulgargaz with around BGN 128 M in current liabilities.
He informed that the debts of all heating utilities to Bulgargaz amounted to slightly over BGN 150 M.
Gogov said that Bulgargaz had taken a bank loan of BGN 60 M, adding that it was the first loan for the company after the separation of Bulgartransgaz into two entities, natural gas supplier Bulgargaz and natural gas transmission utility Bulgartransgaz.
He announced that Bulgargaz' debts came in at around BGN 200 M.
The CEO of the state-owned gas supplier admitted that the company was in a tough financial condition and would seek additional financing and agreements with suppliers for deferring payments.
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