SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 6 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's gas transmission network operator Bulgartransgaz will increase its revenue by some 400 million levs ($229.0 million/204.5 million euro) per year once a leg of TurkStream gas pipeline through the country is built, local media reported.
Following the completion of the construction of the gas pipeline in Bulgaria, Bulgartansgaz will certainly grow its revenues from gas transportation, as the rise is determined on the basis of already signed contacts, the company's CEO Vladimir Malinov told public radio broadcaster BNR over the weekend. An audio file with his statement has been uploaded on the BNR website.
As of January 1, Bulgaria has started receiving Russian natural gas via Turkey, replacing the existing delivery route via Romania and Ukraine, Malinov also said.
The new supply route will deliver natural gas to Greece and North Macedonia as well.
Bulgaria will be receiving fees from Russia for gas transit to Greece and North Macedonia by 2030 under the terms of a contract signed with Atomstroyexport, Malinov noted. The fees will depend on the transit distance.
At the end of December, the energy ministry said that Bulgaria will start receiving gas from Russia via Gazprom's TurkStream pipeline at Strandzha entry point, on the border with Turkey, instead of the entry point at Romania's Negru Voda.
The change in the supply route is expected to result in a drop by some 5% in natural gas prices for Bulgarian consumers on an annual basis, as Bulgaria will not have to pay 76 million levs in transit fees to Romania. Bulgargaz is forecast to save some 4.6 million levs in business year 2019/2020 due to the lower transit fees at Strandzha entry point, energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova said at the time.
Currently, there is no gas flow through the Trans-Balkan delivery route via Romania and Ukraine but Bulgartransgaz is prepared to receive gas from the previously used route if needed, Malinov noted.
Russia's Gazprom Export and Switzerland-based European energy company MET Group have already reserved 90% of the entry capacity of the pipeline section in Bulgaria and 80% of its exit capacity.
In September, Bulgartransgaz signed a 1.1 billion euro contract with Saudi-led consortium Arkad for the construction of a gas pipeline, which will connect the country's existing gas transmission system to the border with Serbia, and will carry gas from TurkStream.
The offshore section of the TurkStream pipeline stretching 930 km across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey consists of two parallel strings with annual throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic metres of gas each. One string is intended for consumers in Turkey, while the second is intended to carry gas to customers in Europe via Bulgaria.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)