Bulgaria-Greece Gas Link Work Starts
Top brass from project company Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (ICGB), senior representatives of the two national governments as well as that of Azerbaijan and some European Union institutions attended the May 22 ground-breaking ceremony for the 3bn m³/yr link, the operator said. The project benefited from European Union funding as it will improve Bulgaria's security of gas supply, introducing gas from Azerbaijan.
ICGB is owned equally by state Bulgarian Energy Holding (50%) and Greek IGI Poseidon (50%). Equal shareholders in the latter are Greek supplier Depa and French Edison.
The line will run from the Greek town of Komotini to the Bulgarian town of Stara Zagora. The project already has capacity of 1.57bn m³/yr booked and will bring four new shippers to the Bulgarian market, ICGB said. During the first 25 years the booked capacity will be exempt from third party access and regulated tariffs. The company is planning another market test, which could see the capacity reach 5bn m³/yr with a compressor station installed.
Bulgaria has approved the text of the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) on the pipelines and the energy minister will conclude the final agreement. The IGA regulates the project's support at government level and fixes its tax treatment for 25 years.