The independent transmission system operator ICGB announced a successful completion of the non-binding phase of the incremental capacity process launched in July to assess the market interest in increasing the IGB pipeline’s total technical capacity.
“The market interest for a few consecutive gas years is nearly two times higher than
our initial expectations. While for now, these indications are non-binding for the shippers, this is a great first step towards a potential expansion of the IGB pipeline’s capacity from 3
billion cubic metres per year (bcm/y) to 5 bcm/y”, said ICGB Executive Officers George Satlas and Teodora Georgieva.
“In less than a year of commercial operations, the interconnector Greece-Bulgaria
became an essential part of Bulgaria’s path towards energy diversification, enhanced
security of supply and energy independence. Over 82 per cent of the total capacity for the
upcoming gas year is already booked and we’re looking ahead towards plans for expansion,
further strengthening Bulgaria and Greece’s roles on the region’s energy map”, Ms Georgieva noted.
According to her, gas traders have expressed interest in 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.
George Satlas highlighted IGB’s synergy with the LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis
and the pipeline’s key role as part of the Southern Gas Corridor and the Vertical Gas
“With the changed security environment in the region and the change of gas flow
from south to north, Bulgaria is becoming a gas transit country. Together with Greece and
its growing efforts towards developing LNG projects, our two countries are showing an
excellent cooperation model in the energy sector”, he noted.
IGB is the first route for diversified supplies of natural gas to Bulgaria, guaranteeing
increased security of supply and diversity of sources. The gas pipeline enables the
transportation of natural gas from new sources to other countries in the region as well,
including Moldova and Ukraine.