An inter-governmental agreement for the natural gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) was signed in Sofia on Thursday by the two countries' relevant energy ministers, Kostis Hatzidakis and Temenuzhka Petkova.
The project aims to boost diversity of energy supplies for SE Europe and to better connect energy markets, on the basis of energy sufficiency and security.
Additionally, the two sides also signed the first contracts for the 182-kilometer pipeline's construction, budgeted at 250 million euros. The ICB will begin in the northeast Greek city of Komotini, where it intersects with the TAP pipeline, and continue on to Stara Zagora, in southeast Bulgaria.
Its initial capacity is three billion cubic metres of natural gas (bcma), with the prospect of reaching five bcma.
Construction will begin immediately, with completion in 18 months. The pipeline is scheduled to begin commercial operation in July 2021.