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1st American Liquefied Gas for Bulgaria

1st American Liquefied Gas for Bulgaria

Sofia, June 3 - Neftegaz.RU. Bulgaria is starting to consume US liquefied gas, which is a 1st step towards diversifying supplies and reducing dependence on imports of Russian gas only. At the Greek LNG Revituse, the 1st tanker arrived with 90 mln cu m of raw material for Bulgargaz, the unloading of which started on June 1st, Bulgarian Novinite reported.

The supplier of the raw material is the Dutch Colmar, which was among the participants in the 1st auction in Bulgargaz auction for alternatives to Gazprom deliveries of 144 mln cu m of gas. It was won by the Greek DEPA and it was announced that the prices achieved were lower than those of Russian gas, but it was not stated what they were. The 3rd candidate was the Bulgarian gas supplier Dexia.

However, Colmar had suggested to Bulgargas to buy other quantities at prices below the DEPA and that was accepted by the gas company. According to Mediapool, such a bid was also made by Dexia, and since the tariffs were more favorable than the gas-oil companies, and the state gas supplier was not obliged to conduct supply tenders, it was decided to use the competitive services.

Now the gas arrivals are for the Q2, the next Colmar will provide another 50 mln cu m, Energy Minister Temenujka Petkova explained.

"Prices are competitive and lower than those of the current supplier. I think this is a very serious step forward towards the liberalization of the natural gas market in Bulgaria and a very clear sign that the government is working very diversely towards diversification and not only in words, but also in deeds, "she said.

Producer of the already supplied natural is the American Cheniere, which had an interest in reserving capacity from the newly started gas pipeline between Greece and Bulgaria, and was also interested in fueling the future liquefied gas terminal near Alexandroupolis in which a shareholder wants to become Bulgartransgaz.

Colmar's 2nd delivery will be provided by BP, Petkova said. These quantities will be delivered through the access point between the Greek and Bulgarian gas network, whose capacity has been increased since 1 April, explained the head of Bulgartransgaz Vladimir Malinov.

The aim of Bulgargaz is to import the quantities of gas from the various Gazprom vendors and to lower prices at the gas storage facility in Chiren. They will enter into the formation of gas prices in the winter when the raw material is traditionally rising. The quantities delivered from the DEPA are already introduced into the gas storage facility.

Colmar, however, has deposited with the Ministry of Energy a request for negotiations and a delivery agreement of 500 mln cu m for the next 5 years to be traded on the currently established gas exchange. It is expected to start operating on October 1, 2019.

The gas exchange is part of the intention to build a center for regional and even European trade in gas - the so-called Balkan gas hub. The provision of these quantities is the 2nd step in the implementation of the project after Bulgartransgaz managed to conclude a contract with Gazprom for import of gas in Bulgaria for Turkish stream to Serbia, but part of it will go to the hub.

Vladimir Malinov said he hopes 500 mln cu m of Colmar to bring good liquidity to the future gas market in Bulgaria. All this shows that the way the government is going towards diversification, direction of liberalization of the market is correct, and what we have undertaken as a commitment we carry it out, Petkova said.

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