A Memorandum of Understanding between Bulgartransgaz EAD, Glavbolgarstroy Holding AD, the American companies Solar Turbines Inc. and Honeywell, as well as the Italian Pietro Fiorentini launched the development of a pilot project for production and use of green hydrogen for technological needs in the facilities of the underground gas storage Chiren. The Memorandum provides for preparation of a study under the pilot project with several options for facilities and equipment capacities, mixing ratios and other characteristics. The green hydrogen produced under the project is intended to be used for technological needs as fuel on the site and is not planned to be supplied to third parties.
According to the Executive Director of Bulgartransgaz EAD Vladimir Malinov, the implementation of this first-of-its-kind hydrogen pilot project for the region will demonstrate in practice an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "I am confident that after today's signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the fruitful partnership between the Bulgarian, American and Italian companies will grow stronger over the years," he added. He said that hydrogen is a main pillar of the future of the economy and zero-emission energy. "The experience of gas transmission networks' operators will guarantee the security of the infrastructure, which will also be used for hydrogen transmission," he added.
The document was signed within the framework of The New Energy Landscape in South East Europe Conference, held in Washington, USA. The event is organised by the Delphi Economic Forum, the Business Council for International Understanding and the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils.
The Major Energy Infrastructure Projects Panel presented the projects the company is working on to ensure energy security in the region. The expansion of the underground gas storage facility in Chiren, the Bulgaria-Serbia gas interconnection, the LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis are in an advanced stage. The company envisages projects to expand the gas infrastructure and increase the capacities of the interconnection points Kulata/Sidirokastro and Kardam/Negru Voda, given the high level of interest expressed during the non-binding market study phase launched in July 2023.
In order to achieve the objectives of the underground storage expansion, activities are carried out on construction of new above-ground and underground facilities, and of a gas pipeline connecting Chiren UGS with the existing gas transmission system of Bulgartransgaz EAD. Bulgartransgaz EAD partners in the construction of the new above-ground facilities for expansion of Chiren UGS are Glavbolgarstroy Holding AD, Solar Turbines Inc., Honeywell and Pietro Fiorentini, who are leading developers and suppliers of technologies in the field of production and use of hydrogen fuel.
Bulgartransgaz envisages projects for the development of the future hydrogen network in Bulgaria. The first phase of the infrastructure project for pure hydrogen transmission in Bulgaria - construction of 250 km pipeline from Sofia to the Bulgarian-Greek border with two compressor stations has been proposed as a project of common interest to the EU. We are also developing projects to adapt the gas transmission network to operate with up to 10% hydrogen," said Vladimir Malinov. We recall that Bulgartransgaz EAD is a member of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance and an active participant in the European Hydrogen Backbone initiative.