4 transmission gas operators – of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, offer to transport an additional 5 billion cubic meters per year through their transmission networks
A new idea was born on Saturday in Sofia at the ceremony for the opening of the Bulgarian-Greek gas interconnector – to use the already completed Trans-Balkan gas pipeline, through which until recently Russian gas flowed through Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria to Turkey and Greece, for the supply of new quantities of gas , which Azerbaijan will provide.
4 transmission gas operators – of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, offer to transport an additional 5 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan through their transmission networks. This was written in a letter from the four companies, which President Rumen Radev handed over to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and to the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. Thus, many investments for new gas pipelines would be saved.
According to a press release, the gas transmission operators will work on the strategic cooperation agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan, signed on July 18, 2022 in Baku.
“Bulgartransgaz” clarified that the route is from Turkey through Bulgaria and the idea is to then transport Azeri gas through the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline to Romania, from where it will be transported to Hungary and Slovakia. Both countries have gas connections to the Baumgarten storage facility in Austria.
The July 18 agreement is for 10 billion cubic meters along the proposed route, 5 billion can be transported immediately. Azerbaijan has stated that it can provide 1.5-2 billion as early as next year, but the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP), which goes to Italy, cannot take them, and the four operators can, starting from January 1 next year.
The proposal of the four companies is not to invest in a new pipe parallel to the Trans-Adriatic pipeline, because it would be expensive and time-consuming.
However, with 20 billion cubic meters of gas per year, additional investments will be needed for the new route, but not as much as it would be for a second TAP pipeline. Aliyev promised to double Azeri gas supplies to Europe by 2027.
Thanks to projects like this interconnector, Europe will have enough gas in the winter, Von der Leyen said during the ceremony in Sofia.
And Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that no one believed how important this interconnector would turn out to be, they considered it a luxury that was not particularly needed. “But Radev, Borisov, Mitsotakis and Petkov saw it in a different way, they believed in it, and now they will take advantage of its advantages. Now it will turn out to be very important for Serbia as well, because we started building an interconnector between Serbia and Bulgaria, and in a year I hope it will be completed. I hope that at this time next year we will celebrate a similar ceremony in our country as well”, he said.