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Bulgartransgaz CEO Confers with US Assistant Secretary of State

Bulgartransgaz EAD has developed specific projects to increase capacities and enable the transmission of additional quantities of natural gas from south to north, said Bulgartransgaz Executive Director Vladimir Malinov during a meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources at the US Department of State, Geoffrey Pyatt, in Washington on Tuesday. By maximising the use of existing infrastructure and building the necessary additional infrastructure, the Vertical Gas Corridor will ensure energy security for Bulgaria and the wider Eastern European region, he added. 
Malinov and Pyatt discussed the importance of the Vertical Gas Corridor initiative after the participating countries renewed the memorandum of understanding in January, which involves the gas transmission operators of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine and Moldova. “In recent years, a clear upward trend in demand for LNG from reliable sources has emerged. The implementation of the corridor will meet the market’s needs for transporting these additional volumes,” Malinov explained.
Pyatt expressed support for the implementation of the Vertical Gas Corridor. He added that the new infrastructure projects of Bulgartransgaz for capacity increase in the south-north direction need to be timely implemented and put into operation so as to ensure the transmission of the growing gas flows from Greece through Bulgaria and Romania with the possibility to reach Ukraine.
Bulgartransgaz is seeking partial grant funding for the necessary investments in order to implement the proposed projects in the shortest possible time and to keep the commercial interest in the route and increase the benefits for end users as well.
Pyatt stressed the importance of the projects Bulgartransgaz is working on to ensure energy security in the region, drawing attention to the expansion of the underground gas storage in Chiren. Malinov pointed out that Chiren UGS Expansion comes along the most large-scale projects in the sector and will contribute to enhancing the energy security in Europe. The daily gas withdrawal and injection capacities of the storage facility are expected to increase to 8-10 mcm/day. 
During the talks, Malinov also noted the successful partnership in the implementation of the Chiren expansion project between Bulgartransgaz and the US companies Solar Turbines Europe, Honeywell and Emerson.
They agreed on the need for the projects to be completed within the set timeframe to ensure access to additional quantities of natural gas from alternative sources for all consumers.