|Bulgaria's Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova. File photo, BGNES|
April 1 2016
Bulgaria's government has received six indicative offers to use capacity of the gas interconnector that is to be built between Bulgaria and Greece, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova has said.
These include Bulgaria's national gas supplier Bulgargaz, Greece's DEPA, Italy's Edison, Azerbaijan's SOCAR, US-based Noble Energy (working at Cyprus's offshore gas deposit), and Greek utility company Gastrade.
Petkova, quoted by the Bulgarian National Radio, has told reporters the interconnector's capacity booked through queries, amounting to some 4 billion cubic meters, already exceeds the projected real capacity it is designed to have after completion.
Bulgaria and Greece are currently finalizing the first stage of building the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), which authorities in Sofia hope will provide access to the future Southern Gas Corridor and reduce dependence on Russian supplies.
Due to continuing interest, the deadline for indicative queries has been extended to April 08, and options are being explored by the two countries to boost the planned capacity to 5 billion cubic meters of gas a year, up from 3 billion cubic meters envisaged in the initial agreement.
By mid-2016, the second stage of the project, which includes the submission of binding offers, should also be completed.
IGB is "related to the security of supplies, a project that is extremely important in terms of market development", Petkova has also said.
The IGB project is being carried out by the Bulgaria-registered company ICGB, a joint venture of the Bulgarian Energy Holding and a IGI Poseidon, a company of Italian gas supplier Edison and Greece's DEPA.
Construction is to begin this October.