Bulgarian public gas supplier Bulgargaz said on Friday that it plans to propose a 4.98% increase in the wholesale price of natural gas, to be valid in the first quarter of 2019. According to the draft proposal, the price will rise by 2.15 levs to 45.44 levs ($26.37/23.23 euro) per MWh, excluding VAT and excise duty, Bulgargaz said in a statement. Bulgargaz will submit its final proposal for approval by the energy regulator on December 11. Bulgarian energy regulations require Bulgargaz to set the gas price quarterly, taking into account global oil prices and the lev/dollar exchange rate. The Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) has the final say on proposed changes in the wholesale price, at which the state-owned company sells natural gas to end-suppliers and customers directly connected to its transmission network. Bulgaria imports almost all the natural gas it needs from Russia via a pipeline crossing Ukraine, Moldova and Romania.