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    EIB releases third funding tranche for Greek-Bulgarian link

Summary

The pipeline will allow Bulgaria to access gas from Greek LNG terminals and potentially Azeri supplies delivered via the Southern Gas Corridor.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Corporate, Financials, Infrastructure, Pipelines, News By Country, Bulgaria, Greece

EIB releases third funding tranche for Greek-Bulgarian link

The European Investment Bank has released a third €30mn ($34mn) tranche of funding for the construction of a gas pipeline connecting Bulgaria with Greece, the project operator announced on December 9.

The funds were released after an inspection by EIB of the project's progress, Interconnector Greece Bulgaria (ICGB) said in a statement. The bank is lending a total of €110mn for the pipeline, which will allow Bulgaria to tap gas from Greek LNG terminals and potentially Azeri supplies delivered via the Southern Gas Corridor, breaking Gazprom's monopoly over the country's supply. The loan is backed by a state guarantee from Bulgaria.

The pipeline was scheduled for completion in 2020 but Greek contractor Avax requested a delay. Under the most recent timeline stated by ICGB, the pipeline will start flowing gas in July 2022.

Hydrotests at the pipeline began in late October, and in early November, ICGB was granted a licence to transmit gas in Bulgaria. The 182-km pipeline will carry up to 3bn m3/year of gas from Greece to Bulgaria, and its capacity could be enlarged to 5bn m3/yr if there is sufficient market interest, according to ICGB.