The gas interconnector Greece – Bulgaria (project IGB) connects the natural gas transmission network of Greece 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 per year with an option for increasing the transmission capacity to up to 5 bcm per year with the construction of a compressor station on Greek territory that would also allow for reverse flow.
The implementation of the IGB project aims to ensure diversification not only of the routes but also of the natural gas sources for Bulgaria and the wider region. As part of the development of the Southern Gas Corridor, through IGB Bulgaria and its neighbouring countries will have access to alternative supplies from the Caspian region as well as from existing or planned LNG terminals. IGB is set to create new market opportunities and will enhance international partnerships in the region.
The gas interconnector Greece – Bulgaria is recognized as a leading project for the CESEC initiative and has excellent synergy with other major projects like TAP and TANAP. The project is a game-changer for the Bulgarian energy market with its ability to increase the competition and decrease the prices for consumers while securing diversified gas deliveries.
IGB is being developed in great synergy with the LNG terminal near the Greek city of Alexandroupolis, which is set for completion by the end of 2023. With the terminal’s implementation, IGB’s capacity may see a significant boost of up to 5 bcm/y, which will further ensure the independent energy deliveries in the region.
The construction of the gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Greece is worth a total of €240 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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