Petrich compressor station, the last of four stations scheduled for modernization, has been put into operation on 13 June. Commissioning ceremony was attended by the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova and CEO of natural gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz Georgi Gegov.
The investment in the upgrade of Petrich station, which has been funded by the European Union, amounts to 17 million euros and is aimed to make Bulgaria more energy independent. With the modernization of this compressor station, Bulgaria will be able to get about a third of its total gas demand from Greece. Currently, Bulgarian annual gas consumption is slightly above 3 billion cubic meters.
In December 2014, Bulgaria presented to the European Union its plans for the construction of the gas hub in the country. It could become gas distribution centers for other neighboring EU members states such as Hungary, Romania, Greece, Croatia and Slovenia, as well as for Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. In 2014, some 14.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas transited through Bulgarian territory. Turkey covers some 35-40 % of its natural gas needs via Bulgaria, while Greece and Macedonia are even more dependent on gas transit through Bulgaria, since that gas covers 70 and 100 % of their needs, respectively.
Total investment in the modernization of all four compressor stations (Strandzha, Ihtiman, Lozenets and Petrich) exceeds 100 million euros and the entire project is financed by state-owned Bulgartransgaz. Upgraded Strandzha compressor station was put into operation in April, Lozenets station was commissioned in early March, while Ihtiman station was commissioned in October 2015, transmits Serbia-energy.eu