Bulgaria has decided to take only one liquefied natural gas cargo offered by US LNG exporting giant Cheniere, according to the country’s caretaker energy minister, Rosen Hristov.
Hristov said in a statement released by Bulgaria’s energy ministry on August 19 that the country had secured an unloading slot in Turkey at a “competitive price”, allowing it to import one LNG cargo from Cheniere in October.
Former Bulgarian energy minister Alexander Nikolov previously said that Cheniere offered seven LNG cargoes to Bulgargaz.
The new caretaker government headed by Galab Donev had a deadline by August 19 to approve these shipments and secure unloading slots at LNG terminals in Greece or Turkey.
Hristov said that Cheniere declined a request by Bulgaria to extend the deadline for the LNG shipments beyond August 19.
He said that Bulgaria did not manage to book unloading slots for LNG shipments in November and December due to high reservation prices.
With this, the option for four LNG shipments in 2023 also fell trough.
According to Hristov, the October LNG shipment would cover about a third of Bulgarian gas needs in October, while another third would be covered with supplies from Azerbaijan.
Bulgaria would also hold talks with Turkish firms to secure additional gas supplies from Azerbaijan, and the country plans to secure unloading slots at DESFA’s Revithoussa LNG terminal in Greece, he added.
Imports of regasified LNG to rise
Greece and Bulgaria recently completed a new pipeline which will allow Bulgaria to import natural gas from Azerbaijan and Gastrade’s FSRU-based Alexandroupolis LNG import project.
Bulgaria’s Bulgartransgaz has a 20 percent in Gastrade’s FSRU-based Alexandroupolis LNG import project which should go online in 2023.
Besides these moves, Bulgaria’s Overgas is looking to take regasified LNG from Excelerate Energy’s planned Vlora LNG terminal in Albania.
The two firms recently signed a memorandum of understanding, in Sofia, Bulgaria relating to the sale of regasified LNG downstream of the Vlora terminal.