Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.12
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
European Commission’s latest decision on the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) to approve the support measures by Greek and Bulgarian governments for the project opens the way for starting the construction of IGB, said Greek Minister of Environment and Energy Giorgos Stathakis.
"We welcome the decision of the European Commission. This decision opens the way for starting the IGB's construction,” said Stathakis, according to the ministry’s website.
He noted that IGB will diversify the sources of supply and can deliver natural gas from the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
“It is a strategic project that highlights Greece as an energy hub of the wider region of Southeastern Europe and a key energy gate for the Old Continent, contributing to the prospect of unifying the European energy market,” added Stathakis.
Earlier, the European Commission approved the support measures to be granted by Bulgaria and Greece for the construction and operation of IGB.
The total investment cost for the realization of the IGB interconnector amounts to €240 million. This will be financed through:
• a direct equity contribution of €46 million from the joint venture shareholders;
• a contribution of €45 million from the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR), which is centrally managed by the European Commission;
• a loan of €110 million granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to BEH (and subsequently passed-on to ICGB AD); and
• a direct financial contribution of €39 million from the Bulgarian State budget via the Bulgarian Operational Programme "Innovation and Competitiveness" 2014-2020 (OPIC).
The Commission concluded that the Bulgarian and Greek support measures for the construction and operation of the IGB natural gas interconnector are in line with EU State aid rules and will contribute to the objectives of security of supply, diversification of energy sources and increased competition in EU energy markets.
IGB 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 TAP via which gas from the Shah Deniz field will be delivered to the European markets.
The initial capacity of IGB will be 3 billion cubic meters of gas.
Follow the author on Twitter:@Lyaman_Zeyn