ICGB Announces Potential Interest in Increased Gas Transmission Capacity to 5 Bln Cu M per Year from 3 Bln Cu M per Year
The independent transmission system operator ICGB Friday announced the completion of the non-binding phase of a procedure for assessing market demand for an increase of the capacity of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector.
The process started in July.
ICGB Executive Officers George Satlas and Teodora Georgieva are quoted saying that the market interest for a few consecutive gas years is nearly two times higher than the company’s initial expectations. They believe that this interest, while non-binding for the participating companies, is a great first step towards a potential expansion of the IGB pipeline’s capacity from 3 bcm/y to 5 bcm/y. The two discussed the plans for the interconnector’s development with other transmission system operators in the region during an event dedicated to the Vertical Gas Corridor held in Thessaloniki.
Georgieva also said that in less than a year of operations, the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector became an essential part of Bulgaria’s path towards energy diversification, enhanced security of supply and energy independence. Over 82% of the total capacity for the upcoming gas year is already booked and ICGB is looking ahead towards plans for expansion to enhance Bulgaria and Greece’s roles on the region’s energy map, Georgieva noted.
Gas traders expressed interest for up to 4 bcm/y additional capacity for the next few gas years in the interconnection points of IGB with the Greek national operator DESFA and the Bulgarian national operator Bulgartransgaz, ICGB said.
IGB is the first route for diversified natgas supplies to Bulgaria and enables the transportation of natural gas from new sources to other countries in the region as well, including Moldova and Ukraine.
The Greece-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector project is being implemented by the joint venture company ICGB AD, registered in Bulgaria in 2011 with shareholders BEH EAD (50%) and IGI Poseidon (50%). The co-shareholder IGI Poseidon is a company registered in Greece, with shareholders the Greek company DEPA International Projects (50%) and the Italian energy group Edison S.p.A (50%). ICGB AD is the owner of the IGB gas pipeline, is financing its implementation, distributing its transmission capacity, and receiving revenues from the transmission of natural gas.
The IGB gas pipeline connects with the Greek national gas transmission system and the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline in the area of Komotini (Greece), and with the Bulgarian gas transmission system 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. Depending on the market interest for larger capacity and the possibilities of the neighbouring gas transmission systems, the capacity of IGB is designed with the option for increase up to 5 billion m3/year with additional construction of a compressor station.