Bulgaria Is Difficult to Sidestep in Major Gas Pipeline Projects – Bulgartransgaz CEO
Georgi Gegov, CEO of state-owned gas transmission operator Bulgartransgaz, has suggested that it will not be easy for major gas pipeline projects to circumvent Bulgaria.
Speaking Thursday during a conference titled “Industry, Energy, and Environment”, he noted that gas shipments to Greece and Turkey from Ukraine were delivered entirely through Bulgarian capacity.
Gegov, as cited by investor.bg, said that the company was working actively to support gasification, with 280 kilometers of new branch gas pipelines currently under construction.
He specified that the new gas pipelines connected Dobrich to Silistra, Simitli to Bansko and Razlog, Chiren to Kozloduy and Oryahovo, and Panagyurishte to Pirdop.
The CEO of Bulgartransgaz informed that the routes of some of these pipelines had not yet been specified and the feasibility studies for them had not been launched.
He assured that Bulgargaz and the Environment Ministry were cooperating in order to make sure that the gas pipelines were built as soon as possible.
Gegov made clear that these projects were financed by the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund (KIDSF) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
He pointed out that Bulgaria had insufficient own resources to increase the capacity of the Chiren underground gas storage, adding that authorities were trying to secure EU funding for the project worth EUR 220 M.
Gegov said that Bulgatransgaz kept working on the feasibility studies for the project despite the financial difficulties.
He declared that increasing gas production at Chiren was also a priority of Bulgartransgaz.
Gegov explained that an ongoing project was aimed at boosting the output to a rate of 5 million cubic meters of gas a day, thereby covering almost 100% of the gas needs in the summer months (as opposed to daily consumption amounting to 12-13 million cubic meters a day in the winter months).
Gegov told journalists that OMV has inquired about using the spare capacity of Bulgaria’s grid to carry gas from the exploration blocks in Romania’s Black Sea area to Bucharest, adding that this would fetch additional revenues from gas transit.
He attributed the delay on the Bulgaria-Romania gas grid interconnector to the bankruptcy of the previous contractor, adding that this had been the reason for the lack of efforts to eliminate technical issues for a year and a half.
Gegov declared that a new contractor had already been selected, adding the gas grid interconnector was expected to become functional by end-2015.
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