site.btaEnergy Minister: Location Secured for LNG Delivery for Bulgaria by US Tankers
During a hearing at the parliamentary Energy Committee Thursday, Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov said that a location has been secured for deliveries of liquefied natural gas by US tankers for Bulgaria. "There is a specific point that is specified in the contracts," Nikolov added. The contracts have been signed by Bulgargaz.
The Minister did not want to name the specific location.
Two shiploads of liquefied natural gas from the US were contracted directly with a US company during Petkov's working visit to Washington on May 9 and 10. The government had to find an alternative quickly when Gazprom cut off gas deliveries to Bulgaria on April 27. The delivery of LNG from the US is expected on June 8 and 23.
The opposition says that it is still unclear where the tankers will deliver the LNG as the government has not secured capacity as the terminals in Greece and Turkey.
Nikolov said that negotiations for LNG delivery from the US started in January and have been going on for several months in order to diversify supplies "at a normal price". Several companies in the US can supply LNG and all of them have been reached and asked to send offers, he added. He would not say which company will supply the two LNG tankers citing confidentiality clauses, but assured the MPs that it offered the lowest price.
Bulgaria should take advantage of all possible infrastructure solutions from all neighboring countries, added Minister Nikolov. To this end, all options have been examined, including the terminal near the Greek city of Alexandroupoli, which will be completed at the end of next year. However, this terminal, as well as the one in Revithoussa, cannot meet the need for the whole region. That is why Turkey is also a possible option, Nikolov explained. "We are working on a scenario in which the two system operators of Bulgaria and Turkey will be able to perform their trade function," the Energy Minister commented explaining that one of the main reasons they are not yet doing it is because the Turkish legislation is not in line with that of the EU.
The Minister reconfirmed that the full volume of natural gas from Azerbaijan to the amount of 1 billion cubic meters per year will start flowing as of July 1. There will be no delay in the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector, he added. As for the subsequent tests, regulations, relevant decisions, the government is busy working with the European Commission and the regulatory authorities of both countries to make sure the interconnector is put into commercial operation as soon as possible.
Nikolov also said that even if the Bulgaria-Greece interconnector is not in commercial operation, all possible alternative routes will be used to deliver the full contracted volume of natural gas from Azerbaijan.
He said that had Bulgaria tried to buy more gas from Azerbaijan now, it would have been more expensive than the price from other supplies because it would been purchased as spot prices, which are always higher.
The price of future supplies will certainly depend on the delivery options but it is for sure that it will not be higher than the price in the the contract with Gazprom Export.