Bulgaria’s utilities regulator approved an increase in gas prices

Bulgaria’s utilities regulator approved an increase in gas prices

The Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC), which made its first regulatory decision since a new line-up took office last month, said that the main reasons for the increase were the record high gas prices on European gas hubs and the limits on using gas from Bulgaria’s Chiren gas storage facility.

The Chiren storage facility was currently pumping gas in, rather than out, in order to “accumulate reserves in case of a crisis in deliveries of natural gas,” the regulator said.

EWRC’s statement made no other mention of possible disruptions in natural gas deliveries or the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, which sent European natural gas prices soaring.

Prior to the outbreak of the war, Bulgargaz asked the regulator to approve a 1.8 per cent cut in gas prices.

Natural gas prices in Bulgaria have risen steadily since the start of last year, when the regulator set the gas price at 26.93 leva a MWh in January 2021, reaching a peak of 133.41 leva a MWh in January 2022, before applying a 17.6 per cent cut in February.

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