The Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Company (BOTAS) and its Bulgarian counterpart Bulgargaz began the first gas shipment from Türkiye to Bulgaria yesterday under a 13-year agreement.
Bulgarian Energy Minister Rossen Hristov hailed the importance of the day for Bulgaria’s first gas shipment to the country during the launch ceremony at the Marmara Ereglisi LNG Terminal in Türkiye’s northwestern Tekirdag province.
Hristov said, pointing to the LNG tanker which docked at the terminal, ‘It [LNG] will be regasified, stored, and delivered to Bulgaria in collaboration with BOTAS.’
Burhan Ozcan, General Manager of BOTAS, said that the gas transmission from the terminal will be an initial step in ensuring energy supply security not just for Turkey, but also for Bulgaria and Europe.
Hristov similarly echoed that the partnership will provide energy security not only for Bulgaria but for the whole of southeastern and central Europe.
Both parties are currently exploring other gas and energy project opportunities, as Hristov said Bulgaria considers Türkiye a reliable partner. He confirmed that another agreement to allow the expansion of infrastructure in Türkiye, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia will be signed on April 25–26.
‘Today’s delivery will be about 55 million cubic meters (mcm), but we will have a total annual delivery of 1.5 billion cubic meters (bcm). This capacity is in a position to grow with increases in demand. Technically, we have this opportunity,’ Ozcan said.
Given Türkiye’s daily LNG gasification capacity of 161 mcm, Ozcan said the expanded gas infrastructure will benefit neighboring Bulgaria and other European countries, corresponding to a natural gas gasification of over 50 bcm per year.
Türkiye and Bulgaria had signed an agreement on Jan. 3 for the transmission of up to 1.5 bcm of natural gas a year. The deal, which covers a 13-year period, came a month after both countries’ leaders and energy ministers met in Istanbul.