The upcoming 31 December will remain a key date in the history of gas supplies in Bulgaria, for the first time in our recent history our country will start deliveries of natural gas from a new source – Azerbaijan. Deliveries are planned to be carried out via the new gas connection between Bulgaria and Greece, which will be completed in the next few months. And while the process is finalized, the temporary transfer of natural gas will be carried out through the existing reverse pipeline between Kulata and Sidirokastro.
The delivery date appears to have been symbolically chosen to end a difficult year, including for the gas sector. Thus we will welcome the new 2021 with hopes for complete diversification of energy supply and security in an event such as the crisis caused by geopolitical interests and disputes in 2009.
The Interconnector between Bulgaria and Greece (IGB) proved to be the key step for the solution of the gas puzzlewhich our country is facing. In fact, this pipe is the first source of fuel for Bulgaria which does not come from Russia. That is why the government pins high hopes on this project, which promises many benefits for business and consumers. Deliveries from Azerbaijan will be made through the TANAP pipeline to Turkey and then through the TAP with a diversion to Bulgaria to the Greek city of Komotini.
The gas connection between Bulgaria and Greece has a total length of 182 km, of which 150 km are on the Bulgarian territory. It starts in Komotini, Greece, and is connected with the Bulgarian gas transmission system of Stara Zagora. Its technical capacity is from 3 to 5 billion cubic meters a year. The total worth of the IGB project is EUR 220 million.
In addition to Azerbaijan, our country will be able to import natural gas from other sources – American, Israeli, Egyptian, Qatari gas through the LNG terminals in Greece, as our country will participate in the construction and operation of the new Alexandroupolis terminal as a shareholder.
It is clear that the more natural gas sources Bulgaria has, the more our country will become an important factor in the supply and transit of blue fuel to Europe. This is the reason why a few years ago the government proposed the concept of building a Balkan Gas Hub to transport fuel from our country in different directions, in which the gas transported via IGB will flow in. That’s how our country gets involved in the big rearrangement of global gas flows from South to North.