Diversification of fuels - emphasis in Minister Radev's speech at a conference on energy security

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We are actively working towards a real diversification of nuclear fuel supplies and the process is proceeding without any delays or issues, Energy Minister Rumen Radev said at a conference on fuel and energy security held in Sofia. Among the participants in the forum were members of the Parliament, representatives of the public administration, the business, non-governmental organisations, academics, trade unions, public figures and others.

Minister Radev stressed that a top priority in terms of diversification of nuclear fuel supplies is to respect nuclear safety to the highest degree and ensure security of energy supply. The first shipment of the fresh nuclear fuel of Westinghouse to Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant is scheduled to take place in April 2024.

In his speech, the Minister of Energy also touched on the issue of natural gas, in particular the project for the expansion of the underground gas storage facility in Chiren. Its storage capacity is planned to be doubled and reach up to 1 billion cubic metres, which will lead to an increase in the production volume. Minister Radev also underlined the importance of our country's potential 20% shareholding in the gas extraction project in Block 1-21 Han Asparuh in the Black Sea, as well as the decision of the Council of Ministers of 25 August 2023 to launch a new procedure for the prospection and exploration of oil and natural gas in Block 1-26 Han Tervel, also in the Black Sea.

Minister Radev noted that Bulgaria is exploring possibilities to increase the capacity of gas pipelines with Greece and Romania. “We are actively working to complete the LNG terminal for reception, storage and re-gasification near Alexandroupolis,” Rumen Radev added.

As regards the implementation of Burgas–Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project, the Minister commented that it would increase the possibility of fuel diversification not only for the refinery in Burgas, but also would enhance the competitiveness in the region. A meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group has already been held and a feasibility study and a roadmap are in envisaged to be prepared. Minister Radev considers that it would not be appropriate to take concrete action on the project before properly assessing the target markets, demand, supply chain, exploring technical aspects, different business models and the possibilities for public-private partnership.


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