ICGB has applied for certification as an independent transmission operator
The procedure for certification as an independent transmission operator is one of the key administrative steps that precede the commissioning of the pipeline
The project company ICGB, which is responsible for the implementation of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector, has started the certification procedure to become an independent transmission network operator. The relevant documents were submitted on 16 February and should be reviewed by the Bulgarian Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC). A similar application has been submitted to the national energy regulator of Greece - RAE.
Following the commissioning of the interconnector, scheduled for July this year, ICGB will become the pipeline’s operator. This requires prior certification of the company as an independent transmission system operator. The implementation of the procedure is a legal obligation and is one of the conditions of the final joint decision of the energy regulators on the exemption application of ICGB, granting exception from the requirements regarding third party access, tariff regulation and ownership unbundling.
The procedure for certification as an independent transmission operator is one of the key administrative steps that precede the commissioning of the pipeline. As a future natural gas transmission operator, ICGB must ensure that it does not allow non-competitive or discriminatory behavior. To this end, it is necessary to develop a new management model of the company, including the adoption of a new set of corporate rules, policies and procedures and the introduction of a two-tier management system with a board of directors and supervisory board.
The national energy regulators of Bulgaria and Greece are to consider and assess the practical effect of the new rules and procedures envisaged to function within the project company, and then issue a joint certification decision. The decision is to be issued within up to 4 months from the submission of the documents and is subject to review by the European Commission.
The maximum possible duration of the whole certification procedure is up to 6 months from the date of submission. Given the strategic importance of the IGB project, the shareholders of the project company rely on the will of the national regulators to consider the application within a shorter period of time.
The IGB project is of key importance for increasing security of supply and for ensuring diversification of natural gas sources for Bulgaria and the entire region of Southeast Europe. As of mid-February, over 85% of all construction work on the linear part and the above ground facilities has been completed. The pipeline is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2022.
For more information:
Action Global Communications Bulgaria
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