Act 14 has already been issued for the gas connection Komotini - Stara Zagora, and work is underway to issue the next two documents in order for it to be officially completed. It is expected, under good circumstances, that the next Act 15 and Act 16 will be issued within the next 4 weeks. This became clear during today's press conference in the Council of Ministers of the retired Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, the retired Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov and the director of the project company ICGB Teodora Georgieva.
The issuance of act 16 will in practice lead to a decrease in the price of natural gas delivered in our country, the prime minister said in his resignation. According to Petkov, the benefits of the interconnector will have a direct impact on people's lives, just before the autumn-winter period.
"After we completed the activities on the interconnector with Greece on July 8, today we have already made significant progress in finalizing the documentary part, which is important and necessary for the connection to come into operation," said Kiril Petkov.
He emphasized again that in the last six months, work has been particularly intensive on the construction of the key interconnector link. The resigned Prime Minister reproached GERB that in the last 12 years there has been political reluctance to implement this project. This was against the national interest and entirely in the interest of Gazprom. "The so-called Euro-Atlanticians have actually secretly worked for the interest of Gazprom all these years, bearing in mind the huge difference between the price of Gazprom and that of Azeri gas," Petkov believes. According to him, if in the next month we do not reach act 16, despite the readiness of all participants in the process, this will mean that we have returned to the years in which the national interest was not the leading one.
Retired Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov confirmed the prime minister's words that if the next steps are implemented in the right way, from October 1 there will be a tangible reduction in the price of gas. "This is the effect for Bulgaria", Nikolov pointed out and specified that this project is not only important for us, but also for the entire region.
According to the resigned minister, the interconnector will allow the release of additional quantities of gas for Bulgaria and the region. "The lack of such infrastructure critically reduced the possibilities for solutions for Bulgaria," he recalled. Fortunately, our country has managed to use the reversible gas connection between the Tower and Sidirokastro, which allows us to receive the full volume of the agreed quantities of Azeri gas, explained Nikolov.
"From now on, regardless of how many days and hours we have left before we leave, and after that, if the next colleagues wish, we will continue in this direction and ensure diversification not only for natural gas, but also for all possible fuels up to scale , which is possible," Nikolov also shared.
Minister Nikolov also commented on President Rumen Radev's statement that the "Petkov" cabinet is leaving behind chaos in the energy sector. He was adamant that he is ready to enter into a dialogue with anyone who thinks so and listed what has been achieved and how good the financial condition of transmission operators and other state-owned energy companies is.
ICB CEO Teodora Georgieva, whose company is building the gas connection on the Bulgarian side, also noted the huge progress made, especially in the last month.
"We already have act 14, which is a protocol according to an ordinance from 2003. It represents an important stage for the completion of the object. At the moment, preparations are underway for drawing up act 15," Georgieva explained. However, in order to obtain it, the 151-kilometer section of the gas pipeline must be traversed and certain prerequisites for restoration measures must be made. After that, the state acceptance commission can be assembled and the coveted act 16 can be issued. She also recalled that 3 billion cubic meters is the amount of natural gas that is used annually in our country. Due to the emerging energy crisis, it is now critically important that the gas connection be completed and that not only natural gas physically pass through it, but also commercial supplies begin.