World Bulletin / News Desk
The gas operators Bulgaria's Bulgartransgaz and Turkey's BOTAS will hold meetings as soon as possible to speed up progress for the Turkey-Bulgaria Gas Interconnection Project "ITB", Nadezhda Neynsky, Bulgaria's ambassador to Turkey told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
Neynsky said Bulgaria attaches great importance to the development of Bulgarian-Turkish relations and sees further potential for cooperation, particularly in the energy sector.
A delegation headed by the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak on a visit to Sofia on Sept. 7 discussed bilateral energy cooperation with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova.
"Both sides agreed to intensify cooperation in the field of gas and electricity. In this regard, the gas operators Bulgartransgaz and BOTAS as well as electricity operators ESO and TEIAS will hold bilateral meetings as soon as possible," the Bulgarian ambassador explained.
Bulgartransgaz and BOTAS are working on the realization of a joint Turkey-Bulgaria Gas Interconnection Project "ITB", for which Bulgartransgaz has prepared a feasibility study for the Bulgarian territory co-funded by the EU under the CEF mechanism (Connecting Europe Facility), Neynsky said.
"This feasibility study was sent to the Turkish side and BOTAS' position in response is expected," Neynsky noted.
Bulgaria is paying special attention to this project, which ensures the development of reversible interconnections of gas transmission networks of Bulgartransgaz and BOTAS. The project is an opportunity to allow for the diversification of natural gas sources, the supply to both partners and routes, and greater competition while enhancing the security of supply in the region, the ambassador declared.
"As part of the priority Southern Gas Corridor, the project is key to the security and diversification of sources and routes for the supply of natural gas to and through Bulgaria and the southeast Europe region. The ITB can provide access to all current and future entry points and sources in Turkey, gas from Azerbaijan and other natural gas as well as LNG spot supplies from existing terminals in Turkey," she added.
For realization of the project, on March 12, 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of the ITB interconnection gas interconnection was signed between the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism and the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Subsequently, the MoU was put into force on March 28 and a Joint Working Group composed of experts from the companies involved in the implementation of the project was set up.