Region, Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnection officially commissioned

, SEE Energy News

ICGB, a joint venture company of Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and IGI Poseidon, in which Greek Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and Italian Edison hold equal stakes, in charge of the project for the construction of gas interconnection between Bulgaria and Greece, announced that the interconnector was officially commissioned, following the completion of its construction.

The commissioning ceremony took place at the gas measuring station near the Greek city of Komotini, where the pipeline connects to the gas transmission network of Greece and to the Trans- Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

ICGB executive officer Teodora Georgieva said that the end of the construction of IGB pipeline comes after a number of challenges and obstacles that the company was able to overcome with the support of the Governments of Bulgaria and Greece and the unequivocal support of the European Commission. She added that the pipeline will allow the supply of gas to the Western Balkans, as well as Moldova and Ukraine.

IGB pipeline is connected to TAP, allowing for additional quantities of gas from Azerbaijan that arrive in Greek ports to flow to Italy and the wider southeastern Europe region. It will also enable the flow of liquefied natural gas to Bulgaria and other Balkan countries from Greek LNG terminal at Alexandroupoli, paving the way for potential future LNG imports from the US, Algeria, Qatar, Egypt and other suppliers. The pipeline is seen as a crucial element of the European Union’s plans to give up Russian gas supplies entirely by 2030 and beyond.

ICGB has been filling the interconnector with test quantities of natural gas since mid-June. The company is now finalizing the integration of the system for automated control and overall management of the gas pipeline, or the so-called SCADA system.

Last week, ICGB was certified as an independent transmission operator by the Bulgarian and Greek energy regulators.

182 kilometers long Bulgaria-Greece gas interconnection is designed with the capacity between 3 and 5 billion cubic meters of gas per year, but it could be extended up to 10 billion cubic meters in case of commercial interest and economical justification. The construction of the pipeline officially started on 22 May 2019.