Bulgaria opens gas link to Turkey

Photo: BGNES PM Boyko Borisov attends the opening of a Bulgaria-Turkey gas link.

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov attended today the opening of a Bulgarian-Turkish gas link between Lozenets and Nedyalsko gas stations. Modernisation of a transit pipeline connecting Bulgaria to Turkey is an option for Bulgaria to receive and transit Russian natural gas coming from the Turkish Stream.

The 20-km-long pipeline will expand the transit capacity from 14 to 15.7bn cubic meters per year and besides it will give the possibility to reverse the gas flow from Turkey to Bulgaria. The investments into the project currently amount to BGN12m, according to ten-year plan for the development of Bulgartransgas gas grids.

The Bulgarian gas pipeline will enable us to deliver gas from Azerbaijan and other alternative sources in the Middle East. So far Moscow has not made it clear how the route to Europe will be laid of the natural gas from the pipeline running at the bottom of the Black Sea. There are two options – via Bulgaria or Greece.

In keeping with the EU rules, natural gas has to pass through a trading hub. One of the variants (if the pipe runs through Greece) is to use the free capacity of the Trans-Adriatic pipeline (TAP), which is part of the Southern Gas Corridor, it will transport natural gas from the Caspian region to Europe.

Gazprom is planning to build for Turkish Stream two pipelines with the capacity of no less than 15bn cubic meters per year. One is meant directly for Turkish consumers, hence Ankara will receive gas directly from Russia, via Turkish Stream and Blue Stream, and will not have to rely on the Bulgarian transit. Thus the capacity of the pipeline connecting Bulgaria and Turkey will be available.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova, CEO of Bulgartransgas EAD Vladimir Malinov, representatives of contractor Glavbolgarstroy and Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez.

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