The gas transmission system operators of Bulgaria and Greece – Bulgartransgaz EAD and DESFA S.A. signed an Interconnection Agreement. The document provides a possibility for reverse virtual natural gas transmission on the Bulgarian-Greek border for the users on the territory of Bulgaria. The transmission will be carried out at the interconnection point (IP) Kulata-Sidirokastro. Both Bulgartransgaz EAD and DESFA S.A. management, the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC), the Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD, RAE (the Greek Energy Regulator) as well as representatives of the European Commission and the Council of Ministries of the Republic of Bulgaria attended the signing ceremony.

With the agreement signed between Bulgartransgaz EAD and DESFA S.A. the requirements of Commission Regulation (ЕU) No. 2015/703 of 30 April 2015 establishing a network code on interoperability and data exchange rules are met. The Regulation requires the adjacent transmission system operators to sign interconnection agreements comprising a uniform rules and procedures for nominations, re-nominations, quantities allocations and data exchange.

Providing a reverse virtual transmission at the IP Kulata-Sidirokastro is a concrete activity towards the implementing of the harmonized market rules for achieving a single European natural gas market in line with the principles of the European energy market. This is the first important step towards the diversification of the Bulgarian natural gas market. A possibility for virtual supply of natural gas quantities from the Revithoussa LNG terminal in Greece is provided. For the first time access to third parties to that point of the gas transmission network is provided which will ensure competition between the natural gas suppliers. The agreement is signed for an initial test period of three months – from 1 July to 1 October, 2016.

Signing the Interconnection Agreement for the gas transmission systems of Bulgaria and Greece, our country fulfills one of the mandatory prerequisites for the realization of the concept for constructing a gas distribution hub Balkan.