Romania will be able to receive natural gas from Azerbaijan after gas interconnection between Greece and Bulgaria is completed in July 2022, said Romanian Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu.
He noted that, in contrast to the rapid development of the extension of TurkStream pipeline that bypasses Romania and transports Russian gas, the delays in the completion of this interconnector prompted in Romania speculations related to Bulgaria favoring the spread of Russian gas in the region.
The interest for Romania related to the gas from Azerbaijan should, in principle, relate to the transport fees, under the optimistic scenario that the Black Sea offshore projects will eventually begin operations. Transgaz, the operator of the gas pipelines in Romania, already starts charging local consumers for the costs incurred with the construction of BRHA pipeline, which is still not being used.
Minister Popescu said that he had a working meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart Andrey Zhivkov, on the sidelines of participation in the Summit of the Three Seas Initiative in Sofia, with the talks focused on future actions to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, but also on future joint investment projects in the field of renewable energy (hydro and offshore wind), about increasing the capacity of electricity interconnections. He noted that he had received assurances that the Bulgaria-Greece gas interconnector would be completed by July 2022 so that the Vertical Corridor would be operational and Azerbaijani gas and liquefied natural gas from Greek terminals could reach BRHA pipeline.