Sofia and Baku have reached an agreement in principle on barter according to the following scheme – Bulgaria will export electricity to Azerbaijan, in return for which it will receive additional quantities of Azeri gas. This became clear from the words of the Minister of Economy and Industry, Nikola Stoyanov, on the air of BNT on Sunday.
They only produce electricity from gas, and we are a big producer of electricity, we export and we have excess production. This possibility exists, it has been confirmed in principle,” explained the minister, who was on an official visit to Baku.
The idea is that Bulgaria will provide electricity, and in return receive the amount of gas needed for its production. According to Stoyanov, according to this scheme, there is an opportunity to send Azeri fuel to us in the next 4-5 months – “when we need it most in winter”.
Possibilities are being sought from where to get more quantities for the winter, but the problem is that all countries are looking and Azerbaijan is under a lot of pressure.”
The Ministry of Energy is yet to review the option technically, as well as proceed to specific negotiations on price, quantities, terms.
Minister Stoyanov expressed confidence that the long-awaited gas connection with Greece will start on October 1. It is through it that we will receive the previously agreed Azeri gas. As for the potential for additional quantities, the important thing is to preserve and declare interest in such quantities now, he pointed out.
The contract with Azerbaijan is for 1 billion cubic meters per year. Separately, in the long term, an expansion of the southern gas corridor is expected, which will be operational within 3-4 years. This means that “we can receive from Azerbaijan another 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year,” the minister emphasized.
Stoyanov confirmed that negotiations with “Gazprom” are underway – “but no one knows what will happen, and therefore opportunities are being sought to secure gas for Bulgarian businesses and citizens.” According to him, the chances are 50/50, and in the best case, Bulgaria would have more gas than it needs. In that case, however, there will be somewhere to place it, he thinks.