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    Planned Greece-Bulgaria Line Draws Interest



Six companies expressed interests to use IGB, the deadline for submission of documents for access to its capacity extended

by: Kama

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Security of Supply, Balkans/SEE Focus, Greater Caspian News, Gas for Transport, Infrastructure, Pipelines, Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) , Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) , News By Country, Bulgaria, Greece

Planned Greece-Bulgaria Line Draws Interest

(Corrects Noble: it was the UK entity that expressed interest, not US Noble Energy)

At least six companies have submitted expressions of interests (EoI) in capacity of the gas interconnector that is to be built between Bulgaria and Greece, while the deadline for submitting EoI documents was extended due to continuing interest.

The six are: Greece’s Depa and Gastrade (of the Copelouzos group); Italy’s Edison; state-owned Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz; Azerbaijan’s Socar; and UK Noble, according to Bulgaria’s energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova.  

The total adds up to some 4bn m³/yr, which exceeds the initial design capacity of the line, Bulgarian national radio reported.

Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria is related to security of supply and is also extremely important in terms of market development, Petkova said.

The pipeline is designed to pump around 3bn m³/yr with the option to boost it to 5bn m³/yr with the installation of an intermediate compression station. 

Socar’s interest in IGB has been explained by the company plans to expand gas supply to the western Balkans.

It also will become active in Greece following completion of its acquisition of gas transmission operator Desfa. IGB will be connected to Desfa’s gas network.

Noble Energy was the first operator to discover natural gas resources offshore both Israel and Cyprus. The company is already producing gas off Israel and is considering future gas export options to Europe from fields in the eastern Mediterranean, such as the Leviathan field.

A day before the completion of the phase one of market test that was launched by ICGB in December,2015, it extended the deadline till April 8.

Once completed, non-bidding EoI phase will be continued by bidding phase for allocation of IGB capacity.

By mid-2016, the second stage of the project, which includes the submission of binding offers, should also be completed.

ICGB, the company in charge of developing, building and operating the pipeline, is owned by Bulgarian Energy Holding which owns Bulgargaz; and a IGI Poseidon, a joint venture between Edison and Depa.

ICGB is planning to move into construction phase of the pipeline that will connect the natural gas systems of Greece and Bulgaria later in 2016.

The yet-to-be-built gas interconnector will provide accesses to the future southern gas corridor, designed to deliver natural gas from Shah Deniz-2 field in the Caspian to Europe.

Bulgargaz will buy 1bn m³/yr of Shah Deniz 2 gas, enough to satisfy about a third of domestic demand and help to reduce dependence on Russian supplies.

Currently, Bulgaria imports about 90% of its annual consumption from Russia’s Gazprom.

Bulgaria and Greece have also considered IGB as link to be able to carry gas from the Greece’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Alexandroupoli after 2018, when it is expected to become operational.

The €220-mn IGB will start in the vicinity of Komotini in Greece and run 182 km to the Bulgarian town of Stara Zagora.

The cost estimate assumes minimal capacity and an expanded IGB will cost more than that.


Kama Mustafayeva