Interconnector Greece Bulgaria (ICGB), the firm behind the gas interconnector project, said that a total of 1.57 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas, or half of the gas link’s capacity, has been reserved ahead of its July commercial opening.
“Four out of the five shippers which have booked capacity are completely new to the Bulgarian market, which may lead to believe that market interests (national or international) in the project will only grow after it is commercially launched,” ICGB said in a statement, citing Teodora Georgieva, Bulgarian executive officer.
Additionally, ICGB announced that it has inked a deal with PRISMA European Capacity Platform, which has been ranked as Europe’s top gas capacity trading platform, marking a significant step towards the pipeline’s preparations for commercial operation.
ICGB will use PRISMA to auction its capacity at interconnection points with DESFA – the Greek natural gas transmission system operator, and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
According to Georgieva, being listed as a natural gas transmission operator on the PRISMA platform would enable ICGB to target new markets, thus enhancing Bulgaria and Greece’s positions on the regional energy map.
PRISMA would link around 19 marketplaces and houses more than 40 infrastructure providers. According to the release, the platform has over 660 shippers and allows transmission operators to offer their products in a transparent and secure manner.
The pipeline’s anticipated capacity in the direction of Greece to Bulgaria is up to 3 bcm per year. The pipeline’s capacity can be raised to up to 5 bcm per year, depending on market interest and the capacities of neighbouring gas transmission networks, allowing for physical reverse flow from Bulgaria to Greece with the building of a compressor station.