SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 5 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria will kick off an auction for the short-term supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) next week to secure the country's energy needs throughout the upcoming heating season, caretaker prime minister Galab Donev said.
The ministries of finance and energy will work out a plan to stabilise the finances of public gas supplier Bulgargaz so that the state-owned company is in a position to meet the financial costs of all contracted gas deliveries, Donev said on Thursday as seen in an online video file published by state news agency BTA.
Bulgaria needs some 3 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually, and has traditionally received the bulk of that amount from Gazprom until April when the Russian company cut off supplies after its out-of-contract demand for payment in rubles was not met by the former coalition government.
Azerbaijan’s state-owned oil and gas company Socar has already agreed to supply Bulgaria with 1 bcm per year via the newly-finished gas link between Bulgaria and Greece, which is set to be commissioned before the next heating season.
The interconnector, developed by the ICGB consortium, will also enable the flow of LNG to Bulgaria and the wider SEE region from Greece's planned terminal at Alexandroupolis, in addition to the existing one at Revithoussa, paving the way for potential future LNG imports from the US, Algeria, Qatar, Egypt and other suppliers.
Azerbaijan exported 160 million cu m of gas to Bulgaria in the first half of 2022 and plans to export a further 600 million cu m by the end of the year, Azerbaijan's energy ministry has said.
In June, Bulgaria received LNG deliveries from the US. Prior to handing power over to the caretaker government earlier this week, the former coalition cabinet had secured an offer for seven LNG tankers, of which three to arrive at Revithoussa by the end of 2022, former prime minister Kiril Petkov said, as quoted by Investor.bg
In its August price request to the energy regulator, Bulgargaz said it has a firm offer for delivery of LNG, which will be regasified and imported through Greek gas system operator DESFA. Bulgargaz is seeking a 60% increase in the wholesale natural gas price for August to 297.89 levs ($155.85/152.30 euro) per MWh.
The Bulgarian energy regulator will meet on August 9 to discuss the request for an increase in the price at which Bulgargaz sells natural gas to end-suppliers and customers directly connected to its transmission network..
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)