The company in charge of building the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector hailed on Tuesday (1 February) the final investment decision on developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off the Greek city of Alexandroupolis as a major chance for increasing the capacity of the gas link between the two Balkan countries, writes Georgi Gotev for Euractiv.
The 182-km long IGB Project (Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria) will link Stara Zagora in Bulgaria and Komotini in Greece.
ICGB AD, the Bulgaria-registered Greek-Bulgarian company in charge of building the IGB project, said the LNG terminal is of great importance for the commercial activities of the IGB pipeline as it will create significantly more opportunities for gas transmission through IGB.
The final investment decision (FID)for the construction of the Independent Natural Gas System (INGS) of Alexandroupolis was taken on 27 January by the shareholders of Greece’s Gastrade SA. The FID is the last and most important milestone before entering the project’s construction phase.
The terminal is expected to be operational by the end of 2023, with the contracted regasification capacity already reaching up to 50% of its technical capacity of 5.5 bcm per year.
Vladimir Malinov, the executive director of the Bulgarian gas transmission operator Bulgartransgaz, was quoted as saying that the participation of the Bulgarian state as a shareholder in the project, will contribute to strengthening the natural gas market in Southeast Europe, allowing access to alternative natural gas supplies, also from the United States, Egypt, Qatar and others to Bulgaria and the neighbouring countries.
In a separate statement, ICBG expressed optimism that market interest in the Greek-Bulgaria interconnector “will receive an additional boost, opening new opportunities for increased capacity of the pipeline.
“Due to the strategic location of IGB and its proximity to the LNG terminal, this will provide technological advantages in the transportation of natural gas to the consumers in Bulgaria, strengthening the country’s position on the energy map of the region,” ICGB said.