SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 12 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's utilities regulator said on Friday that it endorsed a wholesale price of natural gas for August of 297.89 levs ($156.64/152.30 euro) per MWh, granting the request of public supplier Bulgargaz.
The significant price increase is due to the high prices of natural gas on international markets as a consequence of disrupted or halted supplies from Russia that force byuers to sign short-term delivery contracts amid rising energy insecurity caused by Russia's war on Ukraine, the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) said in a statement.
By comparison, the price that EWRC endorsed for July was 186.17 levs per MWh, up 31.7% from June.
Thanks to contracts with four suppliers, including a contract for liquefied natural gas (LNG) delivery, Bulgargaz has secured the fuel quantities needed to meet demand in August from end-supliers, the heating utilities and industrial consumers, and to top up the volumes at Chiren gas storage facility, EWRC said further. The price and quantities for August take into account an additional agreement for gas deliveries from Azerbaijan in the period from July 1 to September 30.
Despite the hike, the wholesale gas price in Bulgaria remains below those at European spot markets, with prices at Europe's largest gas trading hub, TTF, having reached a record high of 212 euro ($218) per MWh, the EWRC noted. This is because the price for August takes into consideration the more favourable terms of the contract for Azeri gas deliveries, which flows at prices linked to the price of petrol six months ago rather than to current prices at international gas hubs, the energy regulator explained.
Bulgargaz had initially proposed a 54% increase for August in the price at which it sells natural gas to end-suppliers and customers directly connected to its transmission network, to 286.84 levs per MWh, and later updated its proposal to 296.65 levs per MWh.
On Wednesday, the public supplier announced three separate auctions to be held by August 16 so as to secure additional quantities of natural gas for the final quarter of the year.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)