SOFIA (Bulgaria), September 20 (SeeNews) - Public gas supplier Bulgargaz is launching several auctions for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the short term, and starts preparations for calling a tender for a long-term delivery contract for the period 2024-2034, executive director Denitsa Zlateva said on Tuesday.
Aiming to receive competitive offers from the widest possible range of potential suppliers, Bulgargaz is launching auctions for LNG deliveries for November and December, and an auction for LNG supply in 2023, Zlateva told a news conference broadcast by privately owned channel bTV.
Bulgargaz has booked prior storage capacity at the floating terminal currently being built at Alexandroupolis in Greece, for the quantities to be procured next year, Zlateva added.
The announcement comes after Bulgargaz said on Monday it managed, as planned, to double to 10.6 million MWh, or some 1 billion cubic metres (bcm), its LNG storage capacity at Alexandroupolis after signing a 10-year annex to its contract with project company Gastrade.
The auction for LNG supply for 2024-2034 will take six months, with interested bidders due to first submit a registration of interest over the next couple of months and the winning suppliers expected to be announced in March 2023.
Bulgargaz will also participate in the annual auctions for unloading slots and regasification capacity at Greece's Revithoussa LNG terminal, likely to be held in October, Zlateva added. Negotiations are also ongoing for booking capacity at LNG terminals in Turkey.
Bulgaria's caretaker government is looking to ensure the country's gas supply in the coming winter months and beyond after Russia's Gazprom cut off deliveries to Bulgaria in late April.
The country expects to start receiving additional quantities of natural gas from Azerbaijan through the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector, which is set to be commissioned on October 1.
Caretaker energy minister Rossen Hristov has signalled the government's willingness to return to negotiations with Gazprom in order to obtain the outstanding volumes of natural gas under the existing long-term contract for 3 billion bcm per year with the Russian company expiring in December.
Gazprom has received Bulgaria's conditions for delivery and is weighing up a response, although communication is slow, Hristov said over the weekend, as seen in a bTV video.