A new opportunity is opening for Central Europe’s energy supply, and within it for its...Comments Off on Opportunities and challenges for Central Europe’s gas supply
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide a 110 million loan for the construction of a gas systems interconnection facility between Bulgaria and Greece (ICGB). The loan will be provided to the Bulgarian state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding company, while ICGB AD will be the project promoter and beneficiary and it will focus on developing, constructing, financing, owning and operating the pipeline.
The interconnector will also help establish a link with the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP), which runs from east to west through northern Greece.
The project is in line with the strategy of energy supply’s diversification in Bulgaria and south-eastern Europe. It is part of a wider plan to better connect energy markets among neighbouring countries (including Romania and Hungary) with the aim of improving the security of gas supplies in the region and the efficiency of the networks.
The 182 kilometres long gas pipeline comprises 151 kilometres in Bulgaria (connected to the Bulgarian gas transmission backbone in Stara Zagora) and 31 kilometres in Greece (linked to the Greek gas system and to the TAP in Komotini).
The initial capacity of the new pipeline will be 3 billion cubic metres per year (bcm/y), with a possible increase to 5 bcm/y by adding a compressor station.
“The systematic and consistent corporate efforts of the ICGB team, the political will of the governments of Bulgaria and Greece and the strong support of the European Commission helped us finalise key documents that regulate the model of operation of the gas pipeline and allow progress in carrying out construction activities”, noted the Executive Officers of the project company Teodora Georgieva and Konstantinos Karayannakos.
The project has been included on the list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), which are key cross border infrastructure projects that link the energy systems of EU countries.