Balkans strengthening their energy security

The LNG terminal near Alexandroupolis – a key project for regional natural gas security of supply and diversification – now has its final investment decision approved, Report informs referring to a press release by the ICGB project company for the construction of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB).

Due to the strategic synergy between this project and the IGB pipeline, market interest in the Greek-Bulgaria interconnector will receive an additional boost, opening new opportunities for increased capacity of the pipeline and reverse flow, the company said.

“The final investment decision is the last step before the construction of the project begins. The LNG terminal is of great importance to the commercial activities of the IGB pipeline as it will create significantly more opportunities for gas transmission through the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector,” reads the message.

Due to the strategic location of IGB and its proximity to the LNG terminal, this will provide technological advantages in the transportation of natural gas to the consumers in Bulgaria, strengthening the country’s position on the energy map of the region.

Moreover, finalizing the LNG terminal will boost IGB’s capacity utilization, allowing the transportation of greater quantities of natural gas to the SEE region and the opportunity for ICGB to increase its pipeline capacity to 5 bcm/y and provide a reverse flow of natural gas along its route, according to the company.

“This will allow gas deliveries at competitive prices from various new sources like USA, Qatar, Algeria to reach Bulgarian consumers,” reads the message.

Additionally, upon a decision of the Bulgarian Council of Ministers, the local operator Bulgargaz EAD participates in the binding phase of the market test procedure for reserving capacity from the liquefied natural gas terminal, reserving approximately 500 million cubic meters per year, but not less than 300 million cubic meters per year for a period of 3 to 5 years. The company has committed to contract the supply of LNG to consumers in Bulgaria at competitive price terms through the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector.

“Market interest in increasing IGB’s current capacity of 3 bcm/y after the start of commercial activities can also be expected if the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) proceeds with expanding its capacity. Currently, high-level company representatives have indicated this can be done one year in advance if needed to meet growing market demand,” the company added.

Both IGB and the LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis are crucial for achieving diversification for Bulgaria, Greece and the Balkans, boosting competition and enhancing the security of gas supplies in the region.

IGB is developing in synergy with other major projects such as the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal near Alexandroupolis (Greece), which will allow access to many new markets, especially in the southeast Europe region.

The capacity of the IGB pipeline is 3 bcm/y in the direction from Greece to Bulgaria, it can be increased to 5 bcm/y after the installation of the compressor station, which will allow for reverse flow if there is market interest.

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