TurkStream to Begin Pumping Gas to Balkans from January 1

Bulgaria is ready to ensure transit gas supplies from the TurkStream pipeline to Greece and North Macedonia starting January 1, the chief executive of the country’s state gas firm Bulgartransgaz, Vladimir Malinov, told Russian news agency TASS.

“Even if Russia’s gas transit via Ukraine to Bulgaria via the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline is suspended starting the beginning of the year we are prepared. On November 30, Turkey made a ‘golden’ weld joint connecting TurkStream to Balkan Stream. As early as this week Bulgartransgaz will start filling the 11-kilometer section of the gas pipe on its territory with gas, while Turkey — the 140-kilometer sector. We will be ready by December 15, and they, hopefully, by December 20,” he said.

The construction of pipelines to the Serbian border on the 308-kilometer section of the Balkan Stream gas pipeline will be completed by May 31, Malinov informed, adding that after that daily supplies through the gas pipeline would amount to 8.75 mln cubic meters. Before that, gas will be delivered via the Bulgarian territory through the existing gas transport system.

The construction of the new 484 kilometer-long Balkan Stream gas pipeline through Bulgarian territory will be fully complete by the end of 2020.

The country’s Prime Minister BoykoBorisov said in November that gas supplies via the TurkStream gas pipeline from Bulgaria to Serbia would start by May 2020.

The TurkStream project envisages the construction of a gas pipeline across the Black Sea to the European part of Turkey and farther to the border with Greece. Gas deliveries via the first stretch of the gas pipeline are meant to meet the requirements of the growing Turkish market, while the second stretch is planned to deliver gas to the countries of Southern and South-Eastern Europe.

Gazprom considers Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary as potential markets. The capacity of each line is 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year.