EIB loan for IGB available to be disbursed
BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 13
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The loan of the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) is available to be disbursed, the bank told Trend.
An agreement was signed between the Bulgarian BEH company and the European Investment Bank (EIB) in October 2019 to provide a loan of 109 million euros for the project under a state guarantee from Bulgaria.
This will secure the IGB construction, a project that is included in the EU's seven most important energy sector priorities and which will enable real diversification of the sources and routes of supply of natural gas.
“Please note that the loan to finance the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria is fully signed and available to be disbursed to the project promoter in accordance with the physical implementation of the project (i.e. in tranches) and upon fulfillment of all the necessary conditions at each stage in line with the EU Directives and EIB polices,” said EIB.
Executive director of ICGB project company Teodora Georgieva told Trend that Commercial Operation Date (COD) of the IGB, which is expected to deliver 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria is set for the second quarter of 2021.
She noted that the interconnector’s construction was commenced on Oct.28, 2019 and the duration is 18 months.
As for the current status of the project, Georgieva said the first pipe yard for acceptance and storage of line pipes and construction camp on Bulgarian territory is ready and the second pipe yard in Bulgaria is in preparation.
The Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria project envisages a two-stage development.
In the first stage, the pipeline capacity will be 3 billion cubic meters of gas, of which 2.7 billion cubic meters will be offered for the long-term market, the remaining share of 0.3 billion cubic meters in the short term.
In a second phase, also depending on the evolution of the market, the capacity of the pipeline can be increased to 5.3 billion cubic meters of gas thanks to the addition of a compression station: 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas 0.5 billion cubic meters of short-term gas will be offered for long-term products.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn