Bulgaria’s Minister of Economy and Industry, Nikola Stoyanov met with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Parviz Shahbazov to discuss gas supplies as well as bilateral energy cooperation. The meeting was an opportunity to highlight the increased gas imports from Azerbaijan, provide an update on the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) and discuss opportunities for increased energy cooperation between Azerbaijan and Europe.
Azerbaijan has supplied 555 million cubic metres (mcm) of natural gas to this country since last year. The Minister noted that daily gas supplies to Bulgaria increased to 2.6 mcm from July this year and gas exports were projected to be around 600 mcm by the end of the year.
The commercial launch of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) is scheduled for October, which will contribute to the energy supply of Bulgaria and South-Eastern Europe, more broadly. Within this context, the opportunities for additional gas supplies to Bulgaria as a part of the expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor project were also reviewed.
Minister Nikola Stoyanov emphasised that Azerbaijan has always been a reliable partner and expressed his country’s interest in cooperation at the stage of TAP expansion.
In terms of future Azerbaijan-EU energy cooperation, both sides also exchanged views on Azerbaijan’s plans for the production and export of electricity and hydrogen from the wind power potential of the Caspian Sea and the export opportunities of green energy to Europe, as well as cooperation opportunities in other areas in the field of energy.
In July, the EU and Azerbaijan signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Partnership in the field of energy that will enable enhanced cooperation in this area. The MoU will support doubling the capacity of the Southern Gas Corridor up to at least 20 billion cubic metres annually as of 2027, as part of the REPowerEU strategy.