A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between DESFA (Greece), Bulgartransgaz (Bulgaria), FGSZ (Hungary), Transgaz (Romania), ICGB (Bulgaria) and Gastrade (Greece) with the purpose of their mutual cooperation for the realization of the Vertical Corridor, which will enable bi-directional flows of natural gas from North to South and from South to North.
By signing the MoU, the companies reaffirmed their commitment – both jointly and individually – to the development of the projects of common interest (PCI) and other necessary projects for the implementation of the Vertical Corridor. The MoU will be valid for three years with the possibility of extension for another year. It is noted that the agreement builds upon the Memorandum of Understanding/Joint Statement signed by the Ministers of Energy of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary for the development of the natural gas “Vertical Corridor” at the CESEC meeting held in Budapest on 8th September 2016.
The cooperation framework defined by the MoU foresees that the companies will explore the technical specifications of new connections, pipelines, interconnections or any reinforcements of the national networks, developing the planned projects in the region taking into account the EU’s energy strategies and policies, as well as the relevant developments in the regional gas market. Furthermore, the companies agreed that the Memorandum in question will form the basis of intensive cooperation in the future, in terms of the possibility of building the necessary infrastructure for the transport of natural gas to the transit countries and to the EU market from Greece through Bulgaria, Romania to Hungary and vice versa.
The companies further agreed to invest reasonable efforts to achieve a non-exclusive long-term partnership for the development of the pipeline systems of the four countries and to initiate discussion on regulatory and economic aspects for the implementation of the Vertical Corridor. Finally, the companies agreed to seek, where appropriate and relevant, the facilitation and guidance of the European Commission.
The signing of the MoU took place in the context of the 22nd World LNG Summit organized in Athens hosted by DESFA, under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Energy from November 29 to December 2, 2022.