Greece inaugurates pipeline link to Bulgaria: press
A new pipeline interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria has been inaugurated to carry additional gas quantities from the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline from Azerbaijan.
The pipeline is due to launch October 1. But the official inauguration ceremony was held earlier today, led by Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and acting Bulgarian premier Kiril Petkov.
Greece will deliver up to 3bn m3/yr of Azeri gas to Bulgaria initially through the new route, which stretches 182 km from Komotini in northeastern Greece to Zagora in central Bulgaria. A proposed second phase would expand the pipeline's nameplate capacity to 5bn m3/yr.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Greek PM Mitsotakis said Greece could become a regional energy transport hub thanks to the new interconnector. "This isn't just a gas pipeline, but a crucial south-north energy bridge," he said.
Bulgaria was in April cut off from Russian gas supply after refusing to pay rubles converted in an account held with state-owned Gazprombank, as per the terms of the Kremlin's decree on the matter issued in March.
The relationship between the two former Soviet bloc allies has sharply deteriorated, leading to the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomats from Bulgaria last month, the AP said.
Bulgaria is also backing a new Greek LNG terminal project situated close to Komotini in the northeastern port town of Alexandroupolis. Mitsotakis said the LNG project would in future supply additional transit volumes for the Greek-Bulgarian pipeline.