Bulgaria: Loans secured for Bulgartransgaz

, SEE Energy News

According to the Ministry of Energy, Bulgarian state-owned natural gas transmission system operator will conclude two additional loan agreements by the end of the month as so far Bulgartransgaz secured a total of 455 million euros under eight loan agreements.

The statement from the Ministry said that Bulgartransgaz hase signed loan agreements with ING Bank, Citibank Europe, Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria, UniCredit Bulbank, the International Bank for Economic Cooperation, Eurobank Bulgaria, DSK Bank, and a consortium comprising state-owned Bulgarian Development Bank and the International Investment Bank. The operator is still on talks with VTB Bank Europe and United Bulgarian Bank regarding two additional loans.

In June, Bulgartransgaz said that it is seeking to obtain a loan of up to 400 million euros in order to finance some key gas infrastructure projects. The loan will be used to cover operating and investment costs related to this and other gas infrastructure projects: gas interconnection between Bulgaria and Serbia, the expansion of Chiren underground gas storage facility and the construction of gas transmission pipelines. According to Bulgatransgaz, this procedure will raise financial resources for the implementation of its investment program, aimed to diversify the sources, increase the security of gas supply and position Bulgaria as a regional gas distribution hub. Last September, Bulgartransgaz and Saudi-based Arkad Consortium have signed a contract for the delivery of materials, investment project design, development and commissioning of the Bulgarian section of TurkStream extension. The contract is worth 1.1 billion euros and has to be implemented within 615 days after its conclusion. The new pipeline will allow Bulgartransgaz to supply gas to Serbia, Hungary and finally, the hub in Austria. Bulgartransgaz also signed a contract, worth 197.5 million euros, with a consortium consisting of German FerroStaal and two local companies for the construction of two gas compressor stations. The pipeline is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. In late August, Bulgartransgaz has completed the acquisition of 20 % stake in the project for the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Alexandroupoli in northern Greece.