The Bulgaria-Greece pipeline has completed its connection to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), allowing supplies from Azerbaijan arriving in Greece to continue to Italy and the wider region of Southeast Europe, the ICGB project developer said on Friday.
The interconnector measuring station in Komotini, Greece, is connected to the nearby existing TAP infrastructure north of the above-ground gas pipeline facility, the ICGB said in a statement.
The pipeline will also be connected to the gas transmission infrastructure of Bulgarian state distributor Bulgartransgaz near another gas metering station near Stara Zagora.
Greek operator DESFA is expected to set a time frame in the next few weeks to physically connect to its transmission network.
When the interconnector is put into operation, the connection between TAP and IGB will initially enable the import of 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, which is currently being contracted by the Bulgarian distributor Bulgargaz. The amount could be further increased to 3 billion cubic meters per year, the current total capacity of the interconnector. This would allow Bulgaria and the SEE region to diversify their gas supplies.
The interconnector could increase its maximum capacity to a total of 5 billion cubic meters per year, in the context of growing geopolitical instability due to the military conflict in Ukraine. The pipeline could also connect to planned and existing LNG terminals in the region, the ICGB added.
The interconnector is the only gas pipeline that directly connects the Bulgarian natural gas market with the Southern Gas Corridor.
Earlier this week, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said the interconnector could be launched in September.