Executive director talks on expansion prospects of Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria

ICGB AD, a project company engaged in construction of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), will be under an obligation to build the additional capacity provided that it is economically viable, executive director of ICGB project company Teodora Georgieva told.

She recalled that during the initial market test the capacity that was booked for forward flow was 1.57 billion cubic meters per year in the direction from Greece to Bulgaria.

“The non-exempted capacity, around 1.43 billion cubic meters per year will be allocated via auction procedures on capacity booking platform strictly following EU regulations from Commercial operation date,” said the executive director.

She noted that in order to assess the demand for the Expansion Capacity, the National regulator authorities require the IGB to organize an additional market test.

The market test should be organized no later than three years after the start of the IGB’s commercial operation, said Georgieva.

“Currently a date for market test related to additional capacity has not been fixed. In any case new market tests shall be organized only after the ICGB company is certified as Independent transmission operator (ITO) provided that all requirements for certification are met. This is also required by the Exemption decision. Due to that new market tests shall be organized when we obtain the ITO certification,” she added.

The IGB gas pipeline will be connected with the Greek national gas transmission system in the area of Komotini and with the Bulgarian national gas transmission system in the area of Stara Zagora. The planned length of the pipeline is 182 km, the pipeline diameter will be 32″ and the projected capacity will be up to 3 billion cubic meters per year in the direction from Greece to Bulgaria. Depending on the interest from the market and the capacities of the neighboring gas transmission systems, the pipeline is designed for increasing its capacity up to 5 billion cubic meters per year for following up the market evolution thus allowing physical reverse flow (from Bulgaria to Greece) with the additional installation of a compressor station.