The independent transmission system operator ICGB, responsible for the Greece-Bulgaria gas pipeline, has received the last remaining tranche under the European energy programme for recovery after a successful audit; the total value of the project is 253 million euros.
ICGB has utilised this final tranche for the implementation of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector. Amounting to 22.1 million euros, it was approved after ICGB successfully underwent an external audit.
Earlier in October, the IGB pipeline marked its first anniversary of commercial operations. The new infrastructure now secures about 50 per cent of the quantities for Bulgaria’s internal natural gas consumption, enabling new routes for secure natural gas deliveries to countries in the wider region as well.
“This significant milestone is a testament to ICGB’s consistent efforts to ensure full compliance in the project phase of the pipeline and meet the highest standards in the industry. Now that we’ve had the first year of operations at 3 billion cubic metres per year (bcm/y) with most of the capacity booked, we’re looking ahead at expanding to 5 bcm/y to enhance the region’s energy security and independence”, said ICGB Executive Officers George Satlas and Teodora Georgieva. The two noted that ICGB is currently reviewing the market interest in this next step of the project’s development.
Independent audits will continue even after the funding for the interconnector is utilised in full, throughout the commercial operation phase of the IGB pipeline. These will be conducted annually in the form of inspections on site and review of documentation, ensuring full compliance with EU and national regulations and legislation.