Chiren underground gas storage expansion project will be funded by grant in the amount of 78 million euro. It is one of the five approved energy projects and the only one in the field of natural gas for which the European Commission announced that agreement has been reached among Member States for funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

The EC notes the project significance for security of supply in the region of Southeast Europe, as well as its contribution to achieving decarbonisation and transition to clean energy.

Only projects identified by the EC as projects of common interest (PCI) are eligible for CEF funding. Chiren UGS expansion has been consistently included in all PCI lists since 2017.

The project envisages increase in the active gas volume up to 1 bcm and in the daily injection and withdrawal capacity - up to 8-10 mcm/d. Storage capacity increase will promote natural gas trade and improve market integration in Southeast Europe by enhancing competition and improving gas markets liquidity in the region.

According to Bulgartransgaz EAD Executive Director, Mr. Vladimir Malinov, the availability of sufficient storage capacity in the region is of key importance for alternative natural gas suppliers, especially those of liquefied natural gas, as it provides flexibility in supplies’ management.

Mr. Malinov highlighted that Chiren UGS expansion is in synergy with the LNG terminal project near Alexandroupolis, where Bulgartransgaz EAD participates with 20% of the share capital and with other company projects aimed at improving interconnectivity with neighbouring countries.