Long-delayed Greece-Bulgaria Gas Pipeline Will Be Ready by Late June, Says Bulgaria's PM

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Long-delayed Greece-Bulgaria Gas Pipeline Will Be Ready by Late June, Says Bulgaria's PM

Thu, 03/24/2022 - 14:27
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IGB Project (Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria) Map (@ICGB AD)
IGB Project (Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria) Map (@ICGB AD)

The long-awaited gas pipeline transporting natural gas from Greece to Bulgaria will be ready in late June and enter operations in September 2022, Bulgaria PM disclosed on Monday, 21 March 2022. The Greece-Bulgaria pipeline will help reduce Bulgaria's reliance on Russian gas, which constitutes a better proportion of Bulgaria's domestic gas consumption.

Bulgaria is currently meeting nearly all its domestic gas consumption with imports from Russia's Gazprom. The pipeline fits in Europe's renewed efforts to end reliance on Russia's gas, a key priority in the latest Europe's policies following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The planned 220-million-euro Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) was scheduled to be completed by 2020, but the project faced several administrative hurdles in recent years, leading to its long delay.

However, there's hope at the end of the tunnel following the Prime Minister's remarks after inspecting the long-delayed pipeline project.

"June will be the final date for the completion of this project, which is very important for us," said the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, after inspecting the construction site in the Greek town of Komotini in the company of Greek Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas.

Bulgaria has sealed a deal to receive1 bcm of Azeri gas to meet part of its 3 bcm domestic gas consumption but can only tap the contract after the 180-kilometer-long pipeline becomes operational. The pipeline is being built by a joint venture with Bulgaria energy company energy BEH, Italy's Edison, and Greece's gas utility DEPA.

When completed, the pipeline will have the capacity to transport 3 bcm of gas, which can be expanded to 5 bcm.

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