Bulgarian Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR) has approved a 14.15 % decrease of wholesale natural gas price for March 2023, significantly higher than the 4 % proposal by state-owned supplier Bulgargaz.
The wholesale price is decreased to around 54.6 euros/MWh, excluding VAT and excise duty. Previously, KEVR approved 31 % decrease of wholesale natural gas price for February.
KEVR said that the drop in indices on European gas markets as a result of mild weather and the high quantities of gas pumped into European gas storage sites were the main reasons for lowering the final price.
As a result of lower gas consumption expectations for March, smaller than previously planned quantities of the fuel, which will come from Bulgaria’s Chiren underground gas storage facility, were included in the overall price mix.
Moreover, lower market quotations for natural gas in February allowed Bulgargaz to inject natural gas into Chiren at significantly lower prices, which also contributed to the final price drop.
Bulgaria covers 33.5 % of its natural gas consumption with gas from Azerbaijan via the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector, which is also a key element to achieving a lower wholesale price.
As a result of a public procurement procedure for 2023, Bulgargaz has signed two contracts with regional traders for liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries for March, securing another part of the gas mix.