Bulgaria’s gas transmission operator Bulgartransgaz signed an Interconnection Agreement with the gas transmission operator of North Macedonia GA-MA for the Kyustendil/Zhidilovo point.
The Agreement is of key importance for the diversification and enhancement of the security of the gas supply in North Macedonia as Kyustendil/Zhidilovo is the only entry point for the supply of natural gas to the country. The country has no gas fields nor a natural gas storage facility and to guarantee the gas quantities required for the country relies completely on the transport of gas through Bulgaria.
“This document is the result of the long-term cooperation between us and by signing it, our neighbours will have additional opportunities to diversify their sources and suppliers of natural gas,” said Bulgartransgaz Executive Director, Vladimir Malinov, during the ceremony.
“The agreement is a real step towards the liberalisation of the gas market, which is of key importance for providing cheaper natural gas for our customers”, emphasised the Executive Director of GA-MA, Aleksandar Arsic.
The interconnection point Kyustendil/Zhidilovo is not a new one, however, the Agreement provides for the increase of the technical transmission capacity to North Macedonia with 500,000 cubic metres per day or an increase of 182 million cubic metres (mcm) per year. The domestic yearly consumption amounts to about 300 mcm.
Thanks to the cooperation between Bulgartransgaz and GA-MA, North Macedonia is given the opportunity to diversify its gas supply. The prospect as well for access to a liquid, transparent and non-discriminatory market on the trading platform of Balkan Gas Hub is expected to elicit an interest amongst the market participants.
The market participants (traders and customers) in North Macedonia are also provided with access to significant gas quantities from alternative sources – the liquefied gas terminals in South East Europe as well as pipeline gas from Azerbaijan and other alternative suppliers. In addition, North Macedonia will have the opportunity to benefit from natural gas storage services in the Chiren underground gas storage facility, which is a prerequisite both for creating natural gas reserves and achieving optimal gas prices with flexible portfolio management of the supply.