BTA News

Over 15.5 Mln MWh of Natgas Transported via Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector in 2023

More than 15.5 million MWh of natural gas were transported via the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector (IGB) in 2023, operator ICGB said on Wednesday. The gas pipeline marked its first year with 365 days of uninterrupted operation.

The gas pipeline is operating at 3 bcm/y capacity, providing about half of Bulgaria’s domestic consumption needs and allowing for gas transmission to other countries in the region. Over 20 new network users were registered in the past year. With an additional infrastructure in Kardzhali, IGB already provides access to a new, diversified source of natural gas to local communities and businesses, the operator said.

In 2023, ICGB held the first yearly auctions for interconnector capacity, which secured over 80% of reserved capacity for the new gas year. Quasi-yearly capacity auctions were introduced to allow capacity booking at the interconnection point with the Greek transmission grid. This strategic step will allow traders to access volumes from the Alexandroupolis LNG terminal as soon as it becomes operational. Assessing the growing market interest in this new route, ICGB has initiated an incremental capacity process to expand the pipeline’s technical capacity to 5 bcm/y. The binding phase of the process is planned for the summer of 2024, the company said.

The Greece-Bulgaria interconnector has enabled secure gas deliveries to Moldova and Ukraine via the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline, strengthening Europe’s energy connectivity and diversification of sources. To this end, ICGB has pioneered the idea of expanding  the Vertical Gas Corridor (Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary) towards Moldova and Ukraine with the support of adjacent transmission system operators, as developing energy infrastructure in synergy with neighboring countries and partners is key to a more sustainable, secure energy sector, ICGB said.