site.btaGas Operator Bulgartransgaz CEO Visits USA
During his visit to the United States, Bulgartransgaz CEO Vladimir Malinov met with Laura Lohman, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy at the Bureau of Energy Resources Laura Lohman. They discussed progress on steps taken to ensure diversification and security of gas supplies to Europe.
Achieving these requires maintaining an excellently connected and modernized infrastructure with increased interconnection capacities. Malinov informed his host about the high commercial interest expressed in the non-binding market test phase for the interconnection points with Greece - Kulata/Sidirokastro and with Romania - Kardam/Negru Voda. This will allow even more significant quantities of LNG to enter the market in Southeast Europe.
"We continue to rely on partnerships with US companies as demand for LNG is expected to grow with the development of new terminals and regasification capacity. This is especially true for the Southeast Europe region following the commissioning next year of the Alexandroupolis terminal, where Bulgartransgaz is a 20% shareholder," Malinov stressed. "The interconnector with Serbia is planned to be built by the end of next month, which will allow LNG supplies from the terminals in Greece to our western neighbour," Malinov said. He pointed out that thanks to the increased capacities and the two-way connectivity of the Bulgartransgaz network with neighbouring countries, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and North Macedonia now have access to LNG through Bulgaria.
Vladimir Malinov also spoke with representatives of one of the leading research corporations in the USA - RAND Corporation, which develops analyses and provides solutions on topical issues. They discussed Bulgaria's role in the development of hydrogen energy and the transition to carbon neutrality. As a member of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance and a participant in the European Hydrogen Backbone initiative, Bulgartransgaz is active in developing hydrogen transmission infrastructure projects. "Thanks to its well-developed gas infrastructure, the company's future hydrogen network will be fundamental for the construction of the Southeast priority hydrogen supply corridor for the EU. The company is currently conducting a non-binding market study on the demand for hydrogen transmission services. Interest has been expressed from both potential producers and consumers of hydrogen, Malinov added.
The RAND Corporation said it is ready to provide Bulgaria with an analysis regarding additional opportunities to strengthen energy security.
Vladimir Malinov also discussed with representatives of international financial institutions the progress on the implementation of the underground gas storage expansion project in Chiren. Discussions are continuing on participation in the financing of the project after the European Commission approved the state aid measure in support of the project in August.