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Binding phase for the expansion of IGB’s capacity is planned for July 2024

The Greece-Bulgaria interconnector may see its capacity boosted from the current 3 billion cubic metres per year (bcm/y) to a total of 5 bcm/y as early as 2025. With the incremental capacity process currently ongoing, ICGB is scheduling the next steps in coordination with adjacent transmission system operators.

“With the non-binding phase of the process completed, we received indications for significant market interest in expanding the pipeline’s capacity. The binding phase will come in July 2024 – when energy traders and shippers commit to booking capacity”, said ICGB’s Executive Officers George Satlas and Teodora Georgieva during a meeting of the TSOs under the Vertical Gas Corridor (Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary).

According to them, ICGB has already completed the Demand Assessment Reports as the next step in the process, initiating joint technical studies for an increase of the capacity at the interconnection points of the pipeline with the adjacent network systems in Greece and
Bulgaria.

“ICGB has played a very active role in setting up the process and coordinating with our neighbouring TSOs to push for an optimised timeline for the expansion. The sooner we’re all ready, the better for local communities and businesses. Investing in new, well-connected infrastructure will strengthen the region’s energy independence. If we’re consistently joining efforts in providing diversified routes and sources for natural gas deliveries, this will have a positive impact on all consumers in our countries”, Ms Georgieva and Mr Satlas noted.

Taking another step in that direction, ICGB with the support of all Vertical Gas Corridor TSOs welcomed the national transmission system operators of Moldova and Ukraine to the working session.

“It is our joint goal to strengthen and grow this initiative in the future, ensuring access to diversified sources of natural gas to the benefit of more nations in Central and Eastern Europe”, said ICGB’s Executive Officers.

ICGB initiates and fully supports expanding the Vertical Gas Corridor in the future with Moldova, Ukraine and the system operator for the EastMed project.

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