Greece-Bulgaria IGB gas pipeline to be put into operation by the end of July

The Greece-Bulgaria Gas Pipeline (IGB) will start operating by the end of July, said Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas. According to the minister, the IGB pipeline will be capable of transporting 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas with the possibility of upgrading to 5 billion cubic meters.

He noted that the liquefied natural gas station in Revitus (Attica) already daily covers up to 80% of demand in Bulgaria. The opening of the IGB gas pipeline will take place in the city of Komotini in the northeast of Greece on the upcoming Friday, in the presence of the prime ministers of both countries. The minister also noted that the liquefied natural gas station in Revitus already covers up to 80% of the demand in Bulgaria every day.

Speaking at the Economist Conference on Wednesday, the Minister of the Skrekas emphasized the role of Greece in increasing energy security in the region and EU with the current LNG infrastructure as well as planned new installations, the East Med gas pipeline, power grid upgrades, an interconnector linking Greece with Bulgaria, Albania and Italy, and the construction of a gas pipeline that will link Greece with Egypt.

The €240 million Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector pipeline was scheduled to be ready by the end of 2020, when Sofia’s 25-year agreement with Azerbaijani gas company SOCAR to import 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year began.

The IGB, a 182 km pipeline, is being built by a joint effort between Bulgarian state energy company BEH, Greek gas company DEPA and Italy’s Edison.

“We have agreed to the ICGB’s request to extend the deadline for the start of the IGB until June 30, 2022,” said Ivan Ivanov, head of Bulgaria’s energy regulator. However, as it happens, they extended it for another month (editor’s note).

The pipeline, with an initial capacity of 3 billion cubic meters a year, is important to Europe’s plans to reduce its dependence on Russian gas as it will link to the $40 billion Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the final phase of the said project. The Southern Gas Corridor, through which Azerbaijani gas will be supplied to Europe.

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