Today, the Bulgarian parliament approved the supplements to the Energy Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria, which will apply until 2020.
The main reasons, stated by the governing party, for having these amendments and supplements are to: bring Bulgaria in line with the gas market and ensure the stability of the country's gas supply over the coming years.
The amendments and supplements are included in the new chapter: "Ensuring the Security of Delivery; Ensuring Operating and Competitive Market of Natural Gas and the Development of the Gas Supply Network". The focus is on the organisation of a gas exchange market, facilitated by the establishment of a gas hub, and the building of the necessary gas transmitting infrastructure allowing Bulgaria's connectivity to natural gas markets of the countries in the region and beyond.
The additions to the strategy set out the main steps for meeting these goals. All responsibilities are vested with the state owned company Bulgartransgaz EAD and shall be initiated or completed by the end of 2018 and include Bulgartransgaz EAD to:
- Undertake all necessary actions for implementing the project to extend the company's gas transmitting infrastructure from the Bulgarian – Turkish border to the Bulgarian – Serbian one by starting the relevant public procurement procedures in order to complete the construction of the infrastructure by the end of 2019;
- Set up the gas exchange market to facilitate the creation of a Balkan gas hub and a suitable market environment, by establishing a new subsidiary company;
- Acquire share capital in the new LNG terminal in Aleksandropolis, Greece;
- Undertake the necessary actions aiming at restructuring the existing long term contract with Gazprom Export OOO in order to discharge reserved capacity from the existing infrastructure and reserve capacity for the new Bulgarian/Turkish and Bulgarian/Serbian pipeline by entering into a new agreement with Gazprom Export OOO;
- Ensure the necessary funding for the extension of the existing gas transmitting infrastructure from the Bulgarian-Turkish border to the Bulgarian-Serbian one; functioning gas exchange and Bulgartransgaz’s participation in the new LNG terminal.
It is worth mentioning that nonetheless the supplements to the Energy Strategy, the Minister of Energy shall propose to the Council of Ministers new Sustainable Energy Strategy for the period between 2020 - 2050 by the end of October 2019.
The Bulgarian text of the supplements to the Energy Strategy can be found at this link: https://www.parliament.bg/bills/44/802-03-13_PRID_Energiyna_strategiya_RB_do_2020.PDF