BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 28. The gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), which envisages transportation of Azerbaijani gas, has been issued a Permit for Use on the territory of Bulgaria, the ICGB AD told Trend.
The gas pipeline is scheduled to start commercial operations on October 1st, the first day of the new gas year and the start of the heating season.
“After a two-day session of the acceptance commission for Act 16 convened by the Bulgarian National Building Control Directorate, the document was issued at the end of the day on Tuesday, giving grounds to issue a Permit for Use. This is the last administrative step necessary for the legal introduction of the interconnector into operation on the territory of Bulgaria. The document certifies that the facility is fit for commissioning and allows the start of commercial activity from October 1st. A similar document is expected to be issued by the Greek side later today,” said the company.
The Permit was presented to the Executive Officers of ICGB, Teodora Georgieva and Georgios Satlas, by the Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Arch. Ivan Shishkov.
"This is an extremely important day not only for the project and for ICGB as a transmission operator, but also for the end consumers in Greece and Bulgaria. This document allows us to start commercial activities right on time for the new heating season, which was the top priority of all parties involved in the implementation of the interconnector," said Georgieva and Satlas.
They emphasized that the IGB gas pipeline is a completely new route for secure natural gas supplies, which will ensure diversification of gas sources and will increase the competition on the market. "This will have a direct effect on both business and consumers," said the Executive Officers of the second independent transmission operator in Bulgaria.
ICGB coordinated in advance with 27 institutions all necessary opinions, documents and permits in order to optimize the implementation of the procedure for issuing Act 16. By the commercial launch of the facility on October 1st, the Bulgarian energy regulator EWRC must reconfirm the already issued license of the company as a transmission operator, as well as ICGB’s Network and Tariff Code. This is expected to happen on Friday.
The IGB is of key importance for increasing the security of supply and for ensuring the diversification of natural gas sources for Bulgaria and the region of Southeast Europe. The project connects Bulgaria directly to the Southern Gas Corridor and will allow secure supplies from various sources to a number of countries in Central and Southeastern Europe, including Moldova and Ukraine.