Romanian president Klaus Iohannis and his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev have highlighted the crucial importance of putting into operation a Bulgaria-Greece gas interconnection for reducing their dependence on Russian gas supplies, Iohannis said.
"With the increasing need to reduce energy reliance on the Russian Federation, we discussed the diversification of energy sources and transport routes," Iohannis said during a joint news conference with Radev on Tuesday.
"Once completed, the interconnector will be able to be connected to the already operational BRUA gas pipeline and thus make the Vertical Gas Corridor, which is of crucial importance, to become operational."
Iohannis added he also talked about the need to have the interconnector functioning as soon as possible with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during his visit to Romania and that there are promises that by the end of this year the interconnector will be operational.
"On the other hand, we are working on other alternative gas supply routes and we are in advanced negotiations with several sources. It is clear that by the beginning of the winter of 2022 and 2023 we must have viable alternatives that provide us with gas for the coming winter," Iohannis said.
The launch of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector could be delayed until the autumn, Bulgarian media quoted a senior official at ICGB, the company developing the gas link, as saying last week. ICGB still aims to launch the interconnector by July 1, but this deadline is a big challenge, the official said, adding that the pressure from the market to put the gas link into operation is also great.
A new Greek natural gas trading platform will go live on March 21, enhancing interconnectivity and supply security in the region amid volatility on global markets, Greek gas network operator DESFA said on Monday. The new Greek trading platform will come in addition to the Balkan Gas Hub and the Bulgarian Energy Trading Platform in Bulgaria as well as to three energy trading platforms in Romania, namely at BRM, OPCOM and Tradex.
BRUA is a project for a pipeline linking the gas transmission systems of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria.