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.
“The auctions held on two major platforms offered available capacity for five consecutive gas years and we’re delighted with the interest that the IGB pipeline gained. There are several new shippers just entering the local market for the first time through booking capacity in the interconnector and we see this as a testament to IGB’s strategic role”, said ICGB’s Executive Officers Teodora Georgieva and George Satlas. According to them, over 37 million kWh/day were booked for the gas year 2023/2024 reaching over 70% of the available non-exempted capacity for that period. These successful indications are also partially due to the strategic decision of ICGB to also offer quasi-yearly capacity at the interconnection point with the Greek national system operator DESFA that enables the transportation of quantities upon the expected launch of the LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis. “This was a key decision and we dedicated systematic efforts to aligning this approach with the neighboring transmission system operators and receiving the required approvals by the national energy regulators”, Georgieva and Satlas noted.
With a current total capacity of around 3 bcm/y, the interconnector has 1.57 bcm/y booked under long-term contracts, providing access to natural gas from Azerbaijan. The remaining available capacity is being offered on two major European platforms - the PRISMA booking platform for the interconnection points at Komotini, Greece with the transmission system operator of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and with DESFA and the Regional Booking Platform (RBP) for the interconnection point at Stara Zagora, Bulgaria with the country’s national operator Bulgartransgaz.
ICGB has also just launched an incremental capacity process to assess the market demand for incremental capacity, exploring the opportunities for further expanding the IGB pipeline to approximately 5 bcm/y.
IGB is the first route for diversified supplies of natural gas to Bulgaria, guaranteeing increased security of supply and diversity of sources. The gas pipeline enables the transportation of natural gas from new sources to other countries in the region as well, including Moldova and Ukraine.
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