IGB To See Even Stronger Market Interest Within Next Few Years Executive Director

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, December 4. The Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) will see even stronger market interest within the next few years, Teodora Georgieva, Executive Officer of ICGB, the pipeline operator, said in an exclusive interview with Trend .

"IGB's launch in late 2022 had a transformative effect on the region's energy map. It came right on time for the start of the heating season and immediately had a positive effect on the prices for the Bulgarian consumers. In just the first 3 months of operations we reached over 94 percent booked capacity, enabling natural gas transportation to other countries in the region. One of our first international markets for export was Moldova – thanks to natural gas quantities from IGB, transported through the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline. The synergy of the interconnector with the existing infrastructure allowed us to provide security of supply to a nation in a vulnerable position and it was a very fulfilling moment for the entire ICGB team and a major milestone for ICGB as a brand-new transmission system operator just entering the market," she said.

Georgieva noted that one of the main challenges ICGB had to face during the first year of operations was the need to grow rapidly and expand its staff to match all the new activities it has to perform as an independent transmission system operator.

"We managed to build a truly dedicated team with experienced professionals, with international background and attention to detail. Thanks to everyone's efforts we've had zero major incidents and not a single day of gas flow interruption and this is an achievement that marks our first anniversary," added the executive director.

She went on to add that from the very beginning of the project, the possibility of increasing the pipe's capacity to 5 bcm/y in case of market interest has been set in our regulatory framework.

"We can't get into the details about the expected timeline with the progression of the incremental capacity process. On another note, the construction of a compressor station in Komotini as well as the FSRU near the town of Alexandroupolis, which is planned to be in commercial operation in 2024, will contribute to reaching IGB's full capacity potential, since those projects have excellent synergy," added Georgieva.

The IGB gas pipeline connects with the Greek national gas transmission system (DESFA S.A.) and the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (TAP AG) in the area of Komotini (Greece), and with the Bulgarian gas transmission system (Bulgartransgaz EAD) in the area of Stara Zagora. The total length of the gas pipeline is 182 km, the diameter of the pipe - 32'' - and a design capacity of up to 3 billion m3/year in the direction Greece - Bulgaria. The gas pipeline enables the transportation of natural gas from new sources to other countries in the region as well, including Moldova and Ukraine.

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