SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 17 (SeeNews) – Public gas network operator Bulgartransgaz has announced that it is taking steps to speed up the process of filling Bulgaria’s only natural gas storage in Chiren to better guarantee supply security in preparation for next winter.
Starting this week, there will be four additional storage capacity auctions in the current month, alongside the existing storage capacity auctions conducted on the Regional Reservation Platform (RBP) prior to the storage month, Bulgartransgaz said in a statement on Tuesday.
Additional auctions will be held every Thursday of the current month for which they are intended, at the monthly price of storage capacities, according to the press release. This month’s auctions will take place at 1:00 p.m. on August 18 and 25.
In addition, under a previous Bulgartransgaz proposal approved by the Bulgarian energy regulator in June, the company will boost natural gas storage by setting zero access prices from October 1st for the distribution points. entry and exit from and to the installation during the period 2022-2023. year.
“Regarding the above, we inform current and potential participants in the gas market in Bulgaria that from October 1, auctions for transport capacity at the Chiren UGS entry-exit point will no longer be conducted, and entry capacity will be allocated based on allocated withdrawal capacity, and exit capacity will be allocated based on allocated injection capacity,” Bulgartransgaz said.
At the end of July, the former chairman of the energy regulator, Stanislav Todorov, told the public broadcaster BNT that Chiren was 42% full.
Under EU regulations passed by all member states earlier this year to improve energy security amid the war in Ukraine, Bulgaria must ensure its gas storage facility is 80 full % before next winter.
Bulgartransgaz last week relaunched three tenders with a total estimated value of 517.7 million levs ($269.4 million/€264.7 million) for the planned doubling of capacity at Chiren , which is currently 550 million cubic meters.
Bulgaria, which traditionally depends almost entirely on Russian gas, has not received any deliveries from Gazprom since the Russian company unilaterally suspended it in late April. Bulgaria’s long-term contract with Russia’s Gazprom will expire in December 2022.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)