All natural gas Bulgaria purchased between April and September last year may have originated from Russia

, SEE Energy News

Bulgarian caretaker Minister of Energy Rossen Hristov said that all natural gas Bulgaria purchased between April and September last year may have originated from Russia since no certificates of origin were required for these deliveries.

Asked about the financial damage charges against his predecessor and former CEO of Bulgargaz, Minister Hristov said that gas supply without tendering procedures, limited to traders selected in an untransparent way, adds to the price of the product and is detrimental to all consumers. He added that an Energy Act requirement that all supplies for less than 12 months should be handled through tenders or on the exchange was systematically violated in this way.

He said that, according to Eurostat, in April 2022 the natural gas price was 63 euros/MWh in Germany and 79 euros/MWh in Bulgaria. The trend persisted in the following months. The incumbent leadership of the Energy Ministry has adopted a radically different practice: gas is purchased through tendering procedures and a certificate of origin was mandatory.

He said that the entire quantity needed to meet the demand for gas in 2023 has been contracted, moreover at competitive prices. This was possible with the completion of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector, the doubled capacity of the LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli, in which Bulgaria has a stake, the agreement on using the infrastructure of the Turkish BOTAS and the launch of construction of the Serbia-Bulgaria gas interconnector. All this turns Bulgaria into a factor to be reckoned with on the gas map and substantially diversifies the options for providing Bulgarian consumers with competitively priced gas, Minister Hristov concluded.

According to him, bids will be invited for long-term supplies in a matter of days, which are expected to result in better delivery terms thanks to the access to the Turkish LNG terminals under the agreement with BOTAS.

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