On Saturday, 1st October, the intersystem gas connection Greece-Bulgariawas launched. It was commissioned with an official ceremony at the National Palace of Culture, attended by many European leaders. The event was hosted by the President of Bulgaria.
The interconnector is of strategic importance to South-Eastern Europe and provides an opportunity for real energy diversification of natural gas suppliers to the region. The connection provides Bulgaria with direct access to the Southern Gas Corridor and supplies of natural gas through the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP), the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP), and in the near future – from the liquefied gas terminal near Alexandroupolis.
The ceremony in Sofia was attended by the President of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von der Leyen, who arrived in Bulgaria last night, the European Commissioner for Energy Affairs Kadri Simson, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who is on an official visit to Bulgaria, the presidents of the Republic of Northern Macedonia and Serbia Stevo Pendarovski and Aleksandar Vucic, the Prime Ministers of Greece and Romania Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Nicolae Chouka, Acting Prime Minister Galab Donev, the executive directors of the project company “ICGB” AD Teodora Georgieva and George Satlas. Among the guests in Hall 3 of the NDK were Vice President Iliana Yotova, Presidents Petar Stoyanov (1997-2002) and Georgi Parvanov (2002-2013), ministers from the caretaker government, Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, diplomats.
From 7 o’clock, Bulgaria receives the full amount of Azeri gas through the interconnector with Greece.
This was announced by Denitsa Zlateva – executive director of “Bulgargaz” in the special studio of BNT dedicated to the official commissioning of the gas connection with Greece.
After the launch of the interconnector, the proposed price of natural gas for October is BGN 233.49, or nearly BGN 34 lower than the September price. The price of blue fuel for October is to be confirmed at a meeting of KEVR today. The agreed daily amount that will flow through the pipe is 29,000 megawatts.
“This event is really huge in importance for Bulgaria and for our neighboring countries and for the EU. We are diversifying both the routes and the sources of delivery. This event has both a visible and a real effect on Bulgarian consumers, it also gives a breath of fresh air in terms of competitive prices, diversification of supplies. The most important thing for us as a company is that this morning from 7 o’clock the entire amount of Azeri gas flowed through the interconnector at the agreed price,” Denitsa Zlateva said.
The intersystem gas connection Greece-Bulgaria has been announced by the EC as a project of common interest of the European Union, BTA recalls. The facility has a total length of 182 km (on Bulgarian territory the length is 140 km) and connects the gas transmission systems of Bulgaria and Greece, including the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline. The total value of the gas pipeline is over 240 million euros, of which the EC provided 45 million euros free of charge for pre-project studies in 2010 and another 35 million euros under Bulgaria’s operational program. The European Investment Bank credits the construction with 110 million euros.
The planned initial capacity of the interconnector is three billion cubic meters per year, and the maximum – up to 5.5 billion cubic meters per year at the next stage. Our country has a contract with Azerbaijan for the supply of one billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.
The intersystem gas connection Greece – Bulgaria is implemented by the mixed investment company “ICGB” AD, registered in Bulgaria in 2011, with shareholders “Bulgarian Energy Holding” EAD – 50 percent, and “IGI Poseidon” (IGI Poseidon) – 50 percent. The joint shareholder IGI Poseidon is a company registered in Greece, with shareholders the Greek company “DEPA” (DEPA International Projects) with a share of 50 percent and the Italian energy group Edison S.p.A, also with 50 percent.
On September 28, the interconnector with Greece received act 16 for operation, as well as the equivalent permit for operation also on Greek territory. The documents certify that the facility is fit for commissioning and allow its commercial operation to begin on October 1, 2022.
During the day, the head of state Rumen Radev also held bilateral meetings with heads of delegations participating in the ceremony. The President will talk with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the Prime Minister of Romania Nicolae Chuca, the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the President of the Republic of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski. There will also be a tripartite meeting between President Radev, EC President Ursula von der Leyen and President Stevo Pendarovski.
Photo credit: BTA