BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 4. Bulgaria's utilities regulator said that it endorsed a wholesale price of natural gas for October of 233.36 levs ($116.93/119.31 euro) per MWh, a month-on-month drop of 34 percent which it explained with the start of deliveries via the interconnector with Greece on October 1, Trend reports via SeeNews.
IGB connects Bulgaria with the Southern Gas Corridor and will enable secure supplies from a variety of sources to several countries in Southeast and Central Europe, including Moldova and Ukraine.
The pipeline is set to transport 1 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas per year to Bulgaria. Its capacity is 3 billion cubic meters with the possibility of expanding to 5 billion cubic meters per year.
This is the first time that the entire volume of natural gas under Bulgaria's long-term contract with Azerbaijan has been taken into account as a price-forming component, resulting in the price per MWh falling by 120 levs per MWh, the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) said in a statement on Saturday.
The natural gas contracted with Azerbaijan comes at a significantly more competitive cost as it is not influenced by fluctuations in European gas futures exchanges. This is because its price is tied to petrol prices backdated by six months, the EWRC explained.
With the Azerbaijani gas now flowing through the interconnector meeting one-third of Bulgaria's needs, the Southeast European country will also rely on imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as pipeline-delivered natural gas purchased on the Balkan Gas Hub, according to EWRC.
Unused volumes of natural gas will go towards further replenishing stocks at Bulgaria's Chiren underground gas storage site, the regulator added.
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