Bulgartransgaz EAD hosted the 14th Annual Forum of Gas Infrastructure Europe

 

The 14th Annual Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) Conference took place in the period 9-10 June, 2016 in Sofia hosted by the Bulgarian transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz EAD. Since 2003 the GIE Annual Conference is the main meeting at European level of the companies related to the gas infrastructure. The event is among the most important ones in the gas industry and the decision Bulgartransgaz EAD to host the event is a real recognition of the company’s contribution on the path of achieving important for the European energy policy priorities related to improving the security of supply and diversification of the natural gas sources and achieving a single European market. The Prime Minister Mr. Boyko Borissov, the Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds and Economic Policies, Mr. Tomislav Donchev, the Minister of Energy, Mrs. Temenuzhka Petkova, ambassadors, ministers, natural gas experts, representatives of European and worldwide companies in the industry, as well as members of the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) in Europe, the national regulatory authorities, gas associations, NGOs, the media and all other interested parties attended the forum.

''For decades in Bulgaria, we only talked about diversification in words, now we must act” – said the Prime Minister, Mr. Boyko Borissov at the conference opening. The Prime Minister indicated that for nearly 40 years this has been the first meeting at such a level that has been organized in Sofia and in his speech he focused on the priority projects for Europe which our country is developing and also emphasized the role of support and partnership within the EU.

The interconnection and the market development were highlighted as a key towards the security of supply and the competitive economy in the speech of the Minister of Energy, Mrs. Temenuzhka Petkova at the conference. Mrs. Petkova opened the first and one of the key forum panels where the energy ministers from Central and Eastern Europe met for a discussion. The forum provided an opportunity for discussion of the current challenges, mechanisms and actions necessary in view of the sources and routes diversification, the completion of the missing infrastructure in the near future and improvement of the trade environment in the gas sector in the region.

In this regard Minister Petkova familiarize the participants in the forum with the updated status of the main infrastructure energy projects whose realization is a prerequisite for the successful realization of the concept for building a gas hub on the territory of Bulgaria.

Bulgartransgaz EAD’s Executive Director – Georgi Gegov, in his welcoming speech at the opening ceremony indicated that this year the international forum takes place at a time when it is more than ever important to pre-empt events in the constantly and dynamically changing world of the gas infrastructure; in this respect the strategic identification and successful realization of key infrastructure projects that will contribute to the complete integration of the European gas market is essential. He also highlighted that in the context of the European objectives to realise an interconnected and single pan-European gas market the development of the infrastructure in Bulgaria is directly linked to the positioning of the country as a gas distribution hub in Southeastern Europe. We believe that the interconnections with the neighbouring countries - Turkey, Greece, Serbia and Romania are key to market integration. They will contribute to guaranteeing the supply of natural gas to the country and the region and create the real conditions for the diversification of the sources and routes and the possibility to transport additional natural gas quantities to and across Bulgaria.

 

The GIE President Jean-Marc Leroy also welcomed the delegates. In his welcoming address he indicated that the operators of the gas infrastructure can shape the energy future of Europe. It was highlighted that the energy future will be driven by decarbonisation and decentralization which will be in line with the objectives of energy efficiency and security of supply.

 

The conference programme was structured so as to pay attention and provide a platform for discussions on the latest topics in the industry; in this respect both the development of the European Energy Union as a whole and the strengthening of the regional cooperation among the European countries in view of realizing the key infrastructure projects in Southeastern Europe which will contribute for the overall integration of the European gas market were the main focus at the event.

The Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) was founded in 2005 and represents 67 energy companies from 25 countries in Europe. Bulgartransgaz EAD is a member of the international organization since 2007 and in 2016 for the first time our country hosted the GIE Annual Conference.

More information on the GIE conference is available here.