The gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (ICGB) is moving forward with its certification as an independent transmission operator after the national energy regulators of both countries adopted a draft joint decision for certification of the project company managing the gas interconnector.
The two regulators – RAE and EWRC – announced that their decision is a necessary step preceding the commercial launch of the interconnector. Now, the draft will be sent to the European Commission for verification of its compliance with the European legislation before the two national regulators adopt a final joint certification decision.
“The IGB pipeline is of great importance beyond the national borders of the two host countries given the challenging environment in the region and we are thankful that the national regulators processed our application on a shorter notice,” said the two Executive Officers of ICGB, Teodora Georgieva and Konstantinos Karayannakos. “We’re hopeful that the European Commission will also act swiftly so that the procedure can be completed under optimised deadlines.”
Following the commissioning of the interconnector, ICGB will become the pipeline’s operator. This requires prior certification of the company as an independent transmission operator. The implementation of the procedure is a legal obligation and is one of the conditions of the final joint decision of the energy regulators on the exemption application of ICGB, granting exception from the requirements regarding third-party access, tariff regulation and ownership unbundling. As a future natural gas transmission operator, ICGB must ensure that it does not allow non-competitive or discriminatory behaviour. To this end, the company developed a new management model of the company, including a new set of corporate rules, policies and procedures and a two-tier management system with a management board and a supervisory board.
The ICGB project is of key importance for increasing the security of natural gas supplies and for ensuring the diversification of natural gas sources for Bulgaria and the entire region of Southeast Europe. The project will connect Bulgaria to the Southern Gas Corridor and has excellent synergy with other major energy projects such as TAP, TANAP, EastMed and the LNG terminal at Alexandroupolis.