Bulgaria’s natural gas transmission and storage system operator Bulgartransgaz signed an Agreement for purchase and sale of 20 per cent of the share capital of Greece’s utility company Gastrade, becoming an equal shareholder in the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal project near Alexandroupolis.
Vladimir Malinov, CEO of Bulgartransgaz, welcomed the acquisition as a strategic milestone for the diversification and security of energy supplies in Bulgaria and the region.
“This will guarantee market liquidity and competitive prices for consumers,” he said. “The LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis completes the implementation of the idea of the Bulgarian government: a Balkan Gas Hub.”
The terminal will be the second LNG facility in the region after the one in Revithoussa, Greece, to which Bulgaria will have access. It will contribute to the implementation of the overall Balkan gas hub concept, which envisages connecting the natural gas markets of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe by construction and development of the necessary gas transmission infrastructure. It is being fully implemented in pursuit of the policy and priorities for establishing a single interconnected pan-European energy market.
”The inclusion of Bulgartransgaz in the project is of particular importance as it demonstrates the regional aspect of the project and its importance for the markets of South-Eastern Europe,” added Konstantinos Spyropoulos, CEO of Gastrade. “It is also a significant international investment in our country and we are proud to have contributed to it.”
The planned capacity of the terminal for re-gasification and supply to the Greek gas transmission system amounts to 6.1 billion cubic metres per year and the storage capacity is 170,000 cubic metres of liquefied natural gas.
The terminal is in synergy with other infrastructure projects in the region, such as the interconnection Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) and the expansion of the Chiren underground gas storage. These projects, along with Bulgartransgaz existing infrastructure, will improve the access of Bulgaria and the countries in the region to liquefied natural gas. The main LNG suppliers to the terminal in Alexandroupolis are expected to be companies from the US and Qatar and. Then, natural gas can be supplied to the region to consumers in Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Moldova and Ukraine along existing and future gas pipelines in Bulgaria such as IGB.