The first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG), part of a 140 million cubic metres purchase by Bulgarian state-owned gas company Bulgargaz, arrived at the Revithoussa LNG terminal in Greece, Bulgaria’s Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova said on May 31.
This is Bulgaria’s first acquisition of LNG from the US – the first shipment of 90 million cubic metres comes from Cheniere, with a second 50 million cubic metres shipment from the US subsidiary of British Petroleum due in the third quarter of the year.
Bulgaria relies heavily on gas deliveries from Russia, but has made efforts in recent years to expand its gas grid inter-connectors with neighbouring countries in order to allow deliveries from other sources.
“One of the main priorities of this Cabinet in the energy sector is the diversification of sources and routes of gas deliveries … One week after starting the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria inter-connector, natural gas from the US will enter into the Bulgarian gas grid,” Petkova said in a statement.
The gas will be shipped using the existing link to Greece, but the expanded inter-connector will allow Bulgaria to ship larger quantities of gas from Greece, both from Azerbaijan starting next year and from the proposed second Greek LNG terminal at Alexandroupolis, in which Bulgarian grid operator Bulgartransgaz plans to take a minority stake, expected to be 25 per cent.
Dutch trading company Kolmar was contracted to deliver the two shipments and has lodged a letter of intent with Bulgaria’s Energy Minister, offering to sign a contract to deliver 500 million cubic metres of LNG over a period of five years, to be traded on Bulgaria’s future Balkan gas hub, Petkova said.
Petkova said that the two LNG shipments were acquired at “competitive prices”. According to Bulgargaz executive director Nikolai Pavlov, the purchase allowed the company to save 15 million leva (about 7.7 million euro).
(Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova, centre. Photo: me.government.bg)