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ICGB receives final payment for the construction of the interconnector Greece-Bulgaria

The independent transmission operator ICGB received approval for the final payment from the grant funding for the implementation of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector, provided under the Operational Programme “Innovation and Competitiveness” (OPIC).

The total funding allocated under OPIC amounts to 39 million euros. It is disbursed to the pipeline operator in tranches, following thorough inspections at each stage to ensure quality and successful completion of works. This creates an additional level of control and assurance that all implementation and project management activities are carried out in line with the highest industry standards.

“The latest tranche of 1,742,569 euros has already been utilised, completing the funding process under OPIC,” commented ICGB’s Executive Officers Teodora Georgieva and George Satlas. “This is yet another indication of the quality work done by the ICGB team and a positive assessment of the company and its compliance with the rules and requirements introduced by the European financial institutions.”

The IGB interconnector, which connects the gas transmission systems of Greece and Bulgaria, has been in commercial operation since 1 October 2022. So far, over 11.3 million megawatt-hours or more than 962 million cubic metres of natural gas have been transported through the pipeline.

The total budget for the project implementation is 253 million euros It is secured through funds from shareholders BEH and IGI Poseidon, as well as a 109.9 million euros long-term loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), grant financing of 45 million euros under the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) and 39 million euros under OPIC.

In early November 2022, ICGB received approval for the final tranche of the long-term loan from the EIB following a successful audit by independent international experts. The company has already initiated the procedure for the reimbursement of eligible costs under the financing from EEPR. The final tranche of 22 million euros is expected to be approved without remarks by the end of the summer of 2023.

During the commercial operation phase of the IGB pipeline, independent audits will continue even after the funding for the interconnector is utilised in full. These audits will be conducted annually and will cover both documentation checks and on-site inspections.

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