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South-North Natural Gas Corridor: enhance interconnections key for Europe’s energy security

During a working meeting for the Natural Gas Vertical Corridor, organised by Greece’s transmission system operator DESFA, the other regional TSOs, Greece’s Gastrade, Bulgaria’s ICGB and Bulgartransgaz, Romania’s Transgaz, Hungary’s FGSZ and Slovakia’s EUSTREAM (as an observer) acknowledged the importance of implementing targeted projects to remove bottlenecks and enhance the interconnection amongst the networks of the mentioned countries, enabling bidirectional natural gas flows from the South to the North and vice versa.

The representatives presented their planned investments in the systems they operate, aimed at increasing the natural gas transport capacity of the Vertical Corridor. In parallel, they presented the results of their non-binding market tests including initial estimates of future capacity demand in the interconnection points of their systems. These steps are integral to the process of enhancing the transmission capacity of the national systems in the countries involved, based on the provisions of EU Regulations.

At the same time, the participants agreed to take coordinated actions with the aim of implementing the necessary investments and finalising the process of allocating future transport capacity through their networks by 2024. To this end, they agreed to establish a relevant working group to accomplish this effort in consecutive meetings, starting in Sofia in October 2023.

Gas Corridor
Maria Rita Galli, CEO of DESFA. Photo courtesy of DESFA.

“In today’s rapidly evolving energy landscape, it is vital to have collaborations in the region for developing flexible gas pathways, ensuring the optimal use of our infrastructure, making it more cost-effective and future-proof,” commented Maria Rita Gali, CEO of DESFA. “We are truly happy that we had the chance to meet with our counterparts in the region,
strengthening our collaboration in order to allow for the seamless gas flow in Southeast and Central Europe eliminating any bottlenecks in our systems. This will enhance the security of supply, storing capabilities of all countries, further diversifying gas supplies and allow for further optimisation of our collective infrastructure. In such a versatile energy environment, it is critical we solidify the long-term supply security, not just for the region, but also for Europe as a whole.”

Indeed, the activation of the Vertical Corridor will significantly enhance the role of involved countries in the security of supply of the EU energy market, by providing the opportunity of access to diversified natural gas supply sources through European transmission and LNG systems. This potential will expand further with the use of the infrastructure for renewable gases and hydrogen.

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