The gas interconnector Greece – Bulgaria (IGB) connects the natural gas transmission network of Greece and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) near the town of Komotini with the Bulgarian transmission network near the town of Stara Zagora.
The interconnector has an overall length of 182 km and a technical capacity of 3 bcm/y with the potential for expansion of up to 5 bcm/y.
A key strategic objective of IGB is to ensure energy diversification not only in terms of routes but also in terms of natural gas sources for Bulgaria and the broader region. As an integral part of the development of the Southern Gas Corridor, the IGB pipeline facilitates the access to substantial gas reserves from the Caspian region, as well as from existing and planned LNG terminals. IGB is set to create new market opportunities, enhance energy security, and promote international partnerships in the region.
Acknowledged as a priority project in the context of the CESEC initiative and recognized as a project of common interest in the third (2017) Union list of projects of common interest (PCI list), the gas interconnector Greece – Bulgaria is a game-changer for the Bulgarian energy market by introducing competition and ultimately leading to better pricing for consumers.
IGB is developed in great strategic synergy with broader energy infrastructure projects like TANAP and the LNG terminal near the Greek city of Alexandroupolis. With the terminal’s implementation, the IGB pipeline may witness a substantial capacity boost of up to 5 bcm/y, which empowers the region with the ability to handle increased gas volumes and ensures independent energy deliveries.
The construction of the gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Greece is worth a total of €253 million:
- €45 million are provided under the European Energy Program for Recovery (EEPR),
- €39 million are allocated under the Operational Program "Innovation and Competitiveness" (OPIC 2014-2020),
- €109.9 million are provided in the form of a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB),
- and the remaining funds are secured by the project’s shareholders - BEH and IGI Poseidon.
The full funding for the gas interconnector between the two neighboring countries was finally secured in the end of 2019, following the finalization of the EIB loan agreement.
As part of the mechanisms for security and control of the funding, the amounts provided for the project are not automatically allocated to the project company ICGB but are utilized in stages only after successfully completed external audits.
The inspections are performed by independent foreign companies, which perform both audits of documentation and on-site inspections. This model ensures that all activities and procedures for the implementation of the project are performed in accordance with all legal requirements and in compliance with the sector’s best practices.
Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria is co-financed by the European Union's
European Energy Programme for Recovery programme.
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