The Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB Pipeline) will provide a direct link between the national natural gas systems of Republic of Greece and Republic of Bulgaria with an Entry Point in the vicinity of Komotini and an Exit Point in the vicinity of Stara Zagora. The IGB Pipeline will therefore act as a strategic gas transportation infrastructure providing diversification of gas supply to the Bulgarian and South East Europe gas market and supply security to Greece.
The Project is being developed by the joint venture company ICGB AD, registered under Bulgarian law.
The IGB pipeline will have a 32” (~813 mm) diameter and an overall length of approx. 182 km.
The present process of design, permitting procedures and financial structuring envisages the development of the IGB Pipeline with a transportation capacity of approximately 3 bNcm/y of natural gas from Greece to Bulgaria with ~57 barg pressure at the Entry Point and ~42 barg pressure at the Exit Point. The IGB Pipeline will also be equipped to offer physical reverse flow.
The technical design of the pipeline has reflected the possibility to meet possible future market needs for a higher transportation capacity through an upgrade to approximately 5 bNcm/y, which could be achieved through the installation of a Compressor Station. The capacity upgrade will be subject to developments and upgrades in the neighbouring gas transportation systems, and will have to be economically justified.
IGB Pipeline has obtained intergovernmental support by Republic of Greece and Republic of Bulgaria via a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2009. The Project has been designated as a Project of National Priority under Bulgarian Council of Ministers` Decisions No. 615/14.07.2009, No.452/07.06.2012 and under Greek Law 4001/2011.
At European Union level, the IGB Project has obtained consistent political and financial backing, which is of utmost importance for its successful realization. The project is subject of EU financial support through the European Energy Program for Recovery (EEPR) to the amount 45 million EUR pursuant to Commission Decision C(2010) 5813, as amended by Decision C(2012) 6405.
IGB Project has also gained support from the international lender community. In October 2012, ICGB AD signed a Mandate Letter with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development creating the framework for the negotiation of a long-term debt financing for the Project.
The IGB Project has obtained a positive Environmental Impact Assessment on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and a positive Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment on the territory of the Republic of Greece. Final Environmental Impact Assessment Decision on the territory of the Republic of Greece is expected by mid 2013.