Vladimir Malinov: The offshore pipe laying at the Alexandroupolis terminal will be completed by the end of July

“The implementation of the LNG terminal project near Alexandroupolis, Greece is on schedule. We expect the first deliveries as early as January 2024. The offshore pipe laying is envisaged to be completed by the end of July”. This was announced by Bulgartransgaz EAD Executive Director Vladimir Malinov during his speech at the panel Opportunities and Challenges for Energy Security and Diversification at the Bulgarian-Korean Energy Forum. The event is organized by the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Sofia. At the forum, representatives of the institutions, MPs, energy experts, business and academia from Bulgaria and Korea discussed the main challenges and possible solutions for energy transformation, diversification in the country and the region, as well as the development of cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector.

Malinov reminded the participants of the forum of the steps taken by the Bulgarian gas transmission operator to overcome the energy dependence on only one source - Russia. In 2016, the first interconnection agreement was signed between Bulgartransgaz and the Greek transmission system operator DESFA, enabling gas flows transportation from Greece to Bulgaria through IP Kulata/Sidirokastro, with capacity being gradually increased. Thanks to this, in 2019, our country received the first supplies of liquefied natural gas from the USA, and as of January 2021, significant quantities were delivered from Azerbaijan. These are examples of actually achieved diversification - the most important tool for maintaining a high level of security of supply.  "In order to guarantee the possibility of storing the delivered quantities, we work actively also on the expansion of the gas storage in Chiren, planned to be put into operation by the end of 2024," Malinov added.

Bulgartransgaz, together with the neighbouring transmission systems operators, prepares projects on increase of the transmission capacity from Greece to Bulgaria and from Bulgaria to Romania. The first project is proposed to be financed under REPowerEU chapter of the Recovery and Resilience Plan of Bulgaria. With positive results from the market tests, the projects could be implemented in 2026, contributing to improvement of the energy security and diversification for the entire region.