The Operating License for the Greek section of the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector Pipeline (IGB) was signed, allowing it to start commercial operation from October 1, 2022. This is the last administrative step necessary for the pipeline to be legally put into operation in Greek territory.

The technical preparation for the issuance of the IGB pipeline Operating Permit started in January 2022, including numerous meetings with the authorities, the independent inspector, the contractor, natural gas transmission system operator- DESFA, TransAdriatic Pipeline-TAP, as well as the collection and submission of a large package of documents that covers every aspect of the construction discipline.

A similar document was issued by the Bulgarian side.

What this means

ICGB executive officers Teodora Georgieva and George Satlas underscored the importance of the IGB pipeline for Greece, Bulgaria and other neighboring countries. They emphasized that the IGB gas pipeline is a new route for secure gas supply, which will ensure the diversification of natural gas sources and increase market competition.

“We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the successful construction and licensing of the IGB, allowing the commercial start of the pipeline on October 1, 2022, the official i.e. start of the new heating season,” said Georgieva and Satlas.

Read also: Greek PM: The IGB natural gas pipeline is an energy bridge for Greece and Europe

Increasing supply

The IGB will make a decisive contribution to increasing security of supply and diversifying natural gas sources for Bulgaria and the wider region of Southeast Europe. The project connects Bulgaria to the Southern Natural Gas Corridor and will enable secure supply from various sources in South-Eastern and Central European countries, including Moldova and Ukraine.

The IGB Pipeline (Greece-Bulgaria natural gas interconnector) is implemented by the consortium ICGB AD, which was registered in Bulgaria in 2011 with shareholders BEH EAD (50%) and IGI Poseidon (50%). The Shareholders of ICGB AD are the Bulgarian State Company Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) (50%) and the Greek Company POSEIDON (50%), in which Public Gas Corporation of Greece-DEPA International Projects and the Italian EDISON equally participate.

According to its articles of association, ICGB AD will be the owner of the IGB natural gas pipeline, finance its implementation, allocate its transmission capacity and receive revenues from the transmission of natural gas.

The project

The Greek-Bulgarian Interconnector Pipeline (IGB) Project consists of a pipeline approximately 182 km long (of which approximately 31 km are within Greek territory), as well as the necessary supporting facilities (Measuring Stations, stations, Operation Center). With a starting point in Komotini, the pipeline will end in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, connecting the Natural Gas networks of Greece and Bulgaria, while it will also have the possibility of reverse flow. Its interconnection with the TAP pipeline is also envisaged. The IGB pipeline has an initial capacity of 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas (bcm) per year, with the possibility of increasing it to 5 billion cubic meters of gas annually with the construction of a Compression Station.

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