Bulgaria expects Greece’s decision on IGB
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 24
By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:
Bulgaria is ready to complete the deal on constructing the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) to neighboring Greece, however, it waits for a decision of the new government in Athens, Nikolay Nikolov, Deputy Energy Minister of Bulgaria, said, Reuters reported.
Bulgaria intends to build the interconnector to reduce dependence on Russian gas and turn the country into a regional energy hub. But the 182-kilometer-interconnector construction project has been repeatedly delayed when a decision was made to implement it first in 2009 following the disagreements between Russia and Ukraine over gas prices.
"IGB aims at gas transportation from Azerbaijan and through LNG terminal in Greece," he said. "As a result of the current deferral, the project will be completed at the end of 2018, rather than in the middle of 2018 as it was planned."
Bulgarian State Energy Holding has 50 percent in this project. The remaining 50 percent is owned by the Greek DEPA operator and Italy's Edison company. In this project, the capacity is estimated at 5 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
"We expect the signing of the final investment agreement," he said. "This depends on our Greek colleagues. We expect that the agreement will be signed as soon as possible to start implementing the project. Our government is negotiating with the European Commission for financing the interconnector construction. Brussels has already allocated 45 million euro. We hope that we will get more money."
He said that the bridge, linking the IGB to the Romanian gas transportation system, will be constructed in 2016. Earlier, the government announced a new tender for the construction of the bridge component under the Danube river, suspended by the previous contractors.
IGB (Greece-Bulgaria inter-connector) is a gas pipeline, which will allow Bulgaria to receive Azerbaijani gas, in particular, the gas produced from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz 2 gas and condensate field.
IGB is expected to be connected to the Trans-Adriatic pipeline via which gas from the Shah Deniz field will be delivered to the European markets.
A Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation was signed between TAP and ICGB in January 2014.
The document gives an opportunity for cooperation between the two companies that will work together on connecting the pipelines in the vicinity of Komotini (Greece), which will open the way for new supplies of gas to the gas distribution network in Bulgaria, and further to the South-Eastern Europe.
TAP project is designed to transport gas from the Caspian Sea region to Italy's south through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea and further to West Europe. The total length of the pipeline will near 870 kilometers.
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