Bulgartransgaz EAD will acquire 20% of Gastrade S.A. capital

Today, 08.01.2020 Bulgartransgaz EAD concluded a Preliminary contract for sale and purchase of 20% of Gastrade S.A. share capital, the project company, which will implement the Liquefied Gas Terminal near Alexandroupolis, Northern Greece. The document was signed by Bulgartransgaz EAD Executive Director Mr. Vladimir Malinov and the main shareholder in Gastrade S.A.  Ms. Asimina – Eleni Copelouzou, in the Council of Ministers hall in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Ekaterina Zaharieva, the Energy Minister Mrs. Temenuzhka Petkova and Her Excellency Herro Mustafa, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria. 

Bulgartransgaz EAD participation in the project for a new LNG terminal in Greece is enshrined in the updated 2020 Energy Strategy of Bulgaria "For reliable, efficient and cleaner energy" and was approved by a decision of the Council of Ministers adopted at today's meeting. The decision also approved Bulgartransgaz EAD investment costs to be incurred in construction of the facility according to its shareholding.

This is another significant step towards implementation of the overall Balkan gas hub concept, which envisages, by construction and development of the necessary gas transmission infrastructure, to connect the natural gas markets of the Member States in Central and Eastern Europe. The concept implementation is necessary to establish a transparent, liquid and reliable natural gas market not only in Bulgaria but also in the region.

The LNG project near Alexandroupolis, Greece, has been designated by the European Commission as a project of "common interest" for the Member States. The project has been identified by the High Level Group on Gas Connectivity in Central and South-East Europe (CESEC), as well as by the European Strategy for Energy Union. The LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis is being fully implemented in pursuit of the policy and priorities for establishing a single interconnected pan-European energy market. Its implementation will improve security of supply and provide further diversification of natural gas sources in the region.

The LNG terminal project in Alexandroupolis, as part of the Balkan Gas Hub, is in synergy with other infrastructure projects in the region, such as the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB). These projects, along with Bulgartransgaz EAD existing infrastructure, will improve the access of Bulgaria and the countries in the region to liquefied natural gas. Major LNG suppliers to Alexandroupolis terminal are expected to be companies from the USA, Qatar and others. In addition to diversification of sources, project implementation will foster competition between the various natural gas suppliers in the region, as well as between participants in the Balkan Gas Hub platform, where transactions by a number of trading companies are already being made.

Today's decisions are important for the implementation of a gas distribution centre on the territory of the country and will enable Bulgaria to take full advantage of the new opportunities that the supply of liquefied natural gas offers.