Gazprom plans to book Turkey-Serbia gas transit capacity in Bulgaria

Russia's Gazprom said it aims to book capacity in the Bulgarian gas transmission system for transit of natural gas from Turkey to Serbia.

"Gazprom plans to take part in a capacity booking procedure, but the decision will be made taking into account the booking conditions, which will be known upon the announcement of the start of Phase 3 of the procedure," Gazprom said in a Twitter post.

Bulgaria's government has received an official notification from Gazprom for participation in the market test, which practically means that the section of the TurkStream pipeline for transit of Russian natural gas from Turkey to Europe will cross Bulgaria, Sofia-based media quoted Bulgarian energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova as saying in parliament. Earlier this month, Bulgartransgaz said it invited companies to participate in Phase 3 of a market survey on the demand for new transmission capacity from the border of Turkey to the border of Serbia. The deadline for applications is December 10, 2018.

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The company said it had received requests from five potential network users in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the procedure, carried out in 2017 and 2018, respectively. In addition to using its existing gas transmission infrastructure Bulgaria will have to build a new gas pipeline of 484 km length to the border with Serbia, a new pipeline of 11 km length to the border with Turkey, as well as two compressor stations. The estimated investment costs of the project amount to 2.767 billion levs ($1.608 billion/1.415 billion euro). Gazprom plans to build the string of the TurkStream pipeline for transit of Russian gas to Europe via the territory of Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovakia, Russian daily Kommersant reported last week, quoting documents of gas transmission system operators from those countries.

The TurkStream offshore gas pipeline, to stretch for 930 km across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey, consists of two parallel strings with annual throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic metres of gas each. One string is intended for consumers in Turkey, while the second will carry gas to customers in southern and southeastern Europe.