The project company, responsible for the implementation of the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector, ICGB has been granted a license for transmission of natural gas for the territory of Bulgaria for a period of 35 years, following a decision of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC). A similar decision for a 50-year period is expected to be issued by the Greek energy regulator RAE.
The successful licensing of the project company in Bulgaria marks an extremely important stage in the overall regulatory preparation of the IGB project. Acquisition of this natural gas transmission license is a mandatory step before initiating the procedure for certification of the company as an independent natural gas transmission operator – a process that ends with the approval of the national energy regulators of Bulgaria and Greece and the European Commission. The future decision for certification will act as a guarantee that ICGB is able to form independent market behaviour in the name of free competition.
“With the successful licensing of the project company the necessary conditions are being created so that we can move forward with the certification of ICGB as an independent natural gas transmission operator,” said ICGB Executive Officers Teodora Georgieva and Konstantinos Karayannakos. “But more importantly, these are all key steps through which the project consistently moves forward and prepares for the operational phase. We rely on the active institutional support from the national governments of Bulgaria and Greece so that in the shortest possible time the project can be put into commercial operation, which can happen only after the successful completion of the certification procedure.”
Work on the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector and the implementation of the main construction activities are progressing at a good pace: the welding activities are completed at 96 per cent and over 145 kilometres of the 182-kilometre route are now ready and lowered in the trench.
IGB is of key importance for increasing security of supply and for ensuring diversification of natural gas sources for Bulgaria and for the region of Southeast Europe.