Agreement on Bulgaria-Greece Gas Interconnector to be Signed on December 10
The investment agreement on the construction of the planned natural gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Greece (IGB) is expected to be signed on December 10.
This was announced by Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova in an interview for Focus news agency upon her return from the energy and economic summit of the Atlantic Council held in Istanbul.
Petkova noted that the last remaining discrepancies between the two countries have been ironed out.
The bones of contention were the rate of return and the opportunity for Greece to withdraw from the project for some time.
The countries agreed to include a clause in the agreement,which foresees the extension of the transportation capacity from 3-5 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year to 10 bcm per year and even more.
The gas interconnector is foreseen to provide a direct link between the natural gas systems of Bulgaria and Greece with an entry point in the vicinity of Komotini and an exit point in the vicinity of Stara Zagora.
The IGB pipeline, which is an important part of the Southern Gas Corridor, will provide Bulgaria with an opportunity to diversify the sources of its energy supplies and ensure supply security to Greece.
Initially, the link was foreseen for completion by the end of this year, but it has experienced serious delays. According to Petkova, it is realistic to speak of the pipeline's completion by the end of 2018.
The minister forecasted that the gas interconnector with Romania will be launched in the first half of 2016.
She reminded of the two-kilometre-long section of the interconnector near the Danube river, which two selected contractors have so far failed to complete. Four candidates have applied in the new public procurement procedure on the problematic section.
Petkova also expects developments on the planned gas interconnector with Serbia, which has already been allocated EU funding.
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