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Bulgaria plans first steps towards natural gas trading bourse - Mr Petkova

Gasoil News - Published on Mon, 17 Dec 2018

Image Source: ET
Reuters cited Ms Temenuzhka Petkova, energy minister as saying that Bulgaria plans to set up a state-owned company by the end of the year to operate a natural gas bourse, with liquidity secured through an agreement with Austria's natural gas trading hub. Sofia will sign a memorandum for cooperation with the Vienna-based Central European Gas Hub (CEGH) next week as it pushes forward with plans for a gas trading hub in the Black Sea city of Varna. CEGH is a trading platform for the central European Baumgarten hub, the arrival point for Russian gas flowing into Europe via Ukraine and through the Nord Stream pipeline across the Baltic Sea.

Ms Petkova said that the new company will be a unit of state-owned gas network operator Bulgartransgaz. Lawmakers voted on Nov. 30 that the operator should take steps to set up a gas trading bourse.

Bulgartransgaz also plans to seek binding bids from shippers by Jan. 16 for a new link to transport gas from its border with Turkey in the south-east to Serbia in the west, which will carry mainly Russian natural gas to central Europe.

The open season for booking capacity will be announced on December 21. Russia's Gazprom has said it was considering taking part.

Ms Petkova said Bulgartransgaz will also launch a tender to build the new EUR 1.4 billion pipeline on the same date, though the contract will only become valid once capacity is booked. Brussels said that any new infrastructure in Bulgaria would come under very close scrutiny. It has tentatively backed a plan to build a Balkan gas hub to ensure any more Russian gas coming into the European Union competes with gas from at least two other sources, such as Azerbaijan or liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipped from Greece.

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Mon, 17 Dec 2018
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