With an official ceremony in Sofia, the intersystem gas connector between Greece and Bulgaria will be fully operational as of October 1. A technical press release from the Presidency regarding the facility’s commissioning ceremony made this evident. The interconnector is already under Act 15 for the territory of Bulgaria; Ivan Shishkov stated that Act 16 is expected to be implemented next week.
The gas connector is 140 km long and in Bulgarian territory. It’s a transboundary pipeline project with an overall length of almost 182km from Greece to Bulgaria. The pipeline will span over 151 kilometres across Bulgaria and 31 kilometres via Greece, starting at Komotini in Greece and ending at Stara Zagora in Bulgaria.
A joint venture between IGI Poseidon (50%) and Bulgarian energy (50%) undertakes the project. Their main objective is to enhance the security of gas requirements in Bulgaria, Greece and Southeast Europe. IGB pipeline is expected to cost €160 ($170) million, of which the European Commission (EC) will contribute up to €45 ($48) million through the European Energy Program for Recovery.
The project has been included in the European Network Transportation System Operators of Gas (ENTSOGfinal )’s Ten Years Development Plan (TYNDP), which aims to create a single gas market in Europe. Additionally, a secure transmission network will be built to effectively serve the needs of the European markets both now and in the future.
A memorandum of understanding was signed on July 14, 2009, between Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD, Edison (Italy) and DEPA. The IDGB, a joint company, was responsible for constructing the pipeline by the same partners. The undertaking began in 2017. The pipeline construction from Komotini in Greece to Stara Zagora in Bulgaria started in early 2020 and finished by June 2022. The project costs around 250 million euros and holds an initial capacity of 3 billion cubic meters per year and a maximum capacity of 5.5 billion cubic meters per year.