Greece-Bulgaria Pipeline to Tender November
Bulgaria's energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova told a top-level European Commission initiative in Bucharest September 28 that the tender for the supply of equipment for a new cross-border gas interconnector would start in the coming months.
She told the Central and Southeast European Connectivity event that a public procurement contract for a consultant engineer for the Interconnector Greece Bulgaria (ICGB) project was expected to be awarded in October and the tender for the construction of ICGB and the supply of line pipes would come the following month, she said.
Bulgaria’s ministry of regional development and public works issued a permit mid-September, allowing the construction of ICGB on Bulgaria’s territory. Greece has yet to grant a permit for the construction of its stretch of the gas link. The permit was issued for construction on the territory of Stara Zagora, Haskovo and Kardzhali.
"The Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector is strategic not only for our country but also in the region of southeastern Europe. I am convinced that thanks to the joint efforts of Bulgaria and Greece and with the support of the European Commission, the project will be implemented within the set deadlines,” said Petkova.
The construction of the pipeline will be started next year, according to EC vice-president for the energy union Maros Sefcovic at a roundtable discussion in Bucharest. He said it was "crucial" for it to be working when the Southern Gas Corridor comes onstream. That will reach the European Union some time in 2020, carrying Azeri gas.
The ICGB pipeline will connect the Greek gas transmission system in the area of Komotini with the Bulgarian gas transmission system in Stara Zagora.
A 182-km link with the projected capacity up to 3bn m³/yr in the direction from Greece to Bulgaria could expand to 5bn m³/yr, and allow physical reverse flow from Bulgaria to Greece, given an additional compressor station.
Implemented by ICGB joint venture owned by Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and Greece-registered IGI Poseidon with equal shares, the €220mn ($241.8mn) line will be connected to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
ICGB has secured a Bulgaria’s sovereign guarantee of €110mn under the annual state budget act, which will allow it to borrow more cheaply.