Binding phase for the expansion of IGB’s capacity is planned for July 2024
The Greece-Bulgaria interconnector may see its capacity boosted from the current 3 bcm/y to a total 5 bcm/y as early as 2025. With the incremental capacity process currently ongoing, ICGB is scheduling the next steps in coordination with adjacent transmission system operators. “With the non-binding phase of the process completed, we received indications for significant market interest in expanding the pipeline’s capacity. The binding phase will come in July 2024 – when energy traders and shippers commit to booking capacity”, said ICGB’s Executive Officers George Satlas and Teodora Georgieva during a meeting of the TSOs under the Vertical Gas Corridor (Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary).
ICGB utilizes in full the funding for the IGB gas pipeline
The independent transmission system operator has received the last remaining tranche under the European energy programme for recovery after a successful audit; the total value of the project is EUR 253 million.
The independent transmission operator ICGB has utilized the final tranche under the European energy programme for recovery (EEPR) for the implementation of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector. Amounting to EUR 22.1 million, it was approved after ICGB successfully underwent an external audit.
IGB transports over 16.4 million MWh in its first year of commercial operations
Over 16.4 million MWh have been transported through the IGB pipeline in its first year of commercial operations. Launched in line with the start of the gas year on Oct 1st 2022, the interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria ensures a new route for secure, diversified natural gas deliveries to Bulgaria and the wider region. “Throughout its inaugural year, IGB has upheld an impeccable record, meeting all daily nominations with no major interruptions in gas flow. This achievement is due to the strict implementation of our operations procedures, but also to ICGB’s dedicated team of outstanding professionals”, said ICGB’s Executive Officers Teodora Georgieva and George Satlas.
ICGB concludes the non-binding phase of the incremental capacity process with positive market indications for expansion of IGB’s technical capacity
The independent transmission system operator ICGB announces a successful completion of the non-binding phase of the incremental capacity process launched in July to assess the market interest in increasing the IGB pipeline’s total technical capacity. “The market interest for a few consecutive gas years is nearly two times higher than our initial expectations. While for now these indications are non-binding for the shippers, this is a great first step towards a potential expansion of the IGB pipeline’s capacity from 3 bcm/y to 5 bcm/y”, said ICGB Executive Officers George Satlas and Teodora Georgieva. The two discussed updates on the plans for the interconnector’s development with other TSOs in the region during an event dedicated to the Vertical Gas Corridor held in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Over 82% of the capacity of the IGB pipeline for the gas year 2023-2024 is already booked
Over 82% of the total technical capacity of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector for the next gas year (2023-2024) has already been booked. The successful results were achieved by the independent transmission operator ICGB at the quarterly auctions held earlier, on August 7th. Currently, for the first quarter of the upcoming gas year, the gas pipeline has booked capacity of 76%. For the remaining 3 quarters, bookings exceed 84% of the facility's total technical capacity. ICGB continues offering the remaining free capacity in both daily and monthly auctions, ensuring transparent and equal access to all interested traders.
Over 12.7 million Mwh transported through the IGB pipeline since its commercial launch
For the first half of 2023, over 7.8 million Mwh are transported via the interconnector; 80% of the capacity for next gas year is successfully booked. A total of 12.7 Mwh are the natural gas volumes transported through the IGB gas pipeline since the interconnector’s commercial launch on Oct 1st 2022 up to the end of June 2023. IGB connects to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), making Bulgaria part of the Southern Gas Corridor and enabling access to secure natural gas deliveries from diversified sources both for the country and the wider region.
ICGB completes the yearly auctions for the IGB pipeline under significant international interest
The independent transmission system operator ICGB finalized with success the yearly auctions for the available capacity of the IGB pipeline for the next gas year 2023-2024. Over 70% of the offered capacity was booked and the remaining quantity will be available in quarterly, monthly, and daily auctions.
ICGB launches incremental capacity process to assess market demand for increasing the technical capacity of the IGB gas pipeline
The process is split into two main phases and is conducted in alignment with adjacent transmission system operators. The independent transmission system operator ICGB, responsible for the management and commercial operations of the IGB gas pipeline, is initiating the mandatory process for assessing market demand for incremental capacity under Regulation (EU) 2017/459 (NC CAM). The process is split into two main phases – non-binding and binding phase and in general has a duration of two years. It will be implemented in close cooperation with adjacent transmission system operators (TSOs) Bulgartransgaz (Bulgaria), DESFA (Greece), and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). It will explore whether there are grounds to increase the existing technical capacity of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector.
ICGB receives the final payment under OPIC for the construction of the interconnector Greece-Bulgaria
The independent transmission operator ICGB received approval for the final payment from the grant funding for the implementation of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector, provided under the Operational Programme "Innovation and Competitiveness" (OPIC). The total funding allocated under OPIC amounts to €39 million. It is disbursed to the pipeline operator in tranches, following thorough inspections at each stage to ensure quality and successful completion of works. This creates an additional level of control and assurance that all implementation and project management activities are carried out in line with the highest industry standards.
Over 10.4 million Mwh have been transported through the IGB gas pipeline since its launch
Over 10.4 million Mwh have been transported through the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector since the launch of the pipeline on October 1, 2022. The amount equals to 892 million cubic meters and covers the period from the beginning of October to the end of April. As of the end of April, IGB has a total of 16 registered users.
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