BAKU, Azerbaijan, December 6. Indications of the market test for expansion of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) exceeded the expectations, Teodora Georgieva, Executive Officer of ICGB, the pipeline operator, said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
"During the summer, we launched the incremental capacity process to evaluate the market interest in a potential expansion of IGB’s capacity from the current 3 bcm/y to 5 bcm/y. The first stage – the non-binding phase – is now successfully completed and I must say that the indications we saw exceeded our expectations. The interconnector was quick to establish its significance on a strategic level for the wider region and now we can tell that the market has picked up on that as well. Currently we’re working in parallel with adjacent TSOs towards the next steps of the process and the potential expansion of the pipeline’s capacity," she said.
Teodora Georgieva noted that the ICGB has recently launched the next phase of the incremental capacity process, which includes preparation of project proposals, followed by a public consultation and submitting a final project proposal to the relevant national regulatory authorities.
"The development and implementation of the entire process is coordinated simultaneously with the adjacent TSOs, of course – if IGB’s capacity gets a boost, their networks will also need to see development. We’re stronger when we grow together – a true example of Europe’s spirit," she added.
The IGB gas pipeline connects with the Greek national gas transmission system (DESFA S.A.) and the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (TAP AG) in the area of Komotini (Greece), and with the Bulgarian gas transmission system (Bulgartransgaz EAD) in the area of Stara Zagora. The total length of the gas pipeline is 182 km, the diameter of the pipe - 32'' - and a design capacity of up to 3 billion m3/year in the direction Greece - Bulgaria. The gas pipeline enables the transportation of natural gas from new sources to other countries in the region as well, including Moldova and Ukraine.
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