Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova on Friday reported significant corporate interest in participation in the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) gas pipeline and the project that is dependent on it – the liquefied natural gas terminal at Alexandroupoli in Thrace.
One day before the completion of the IGB project’s market test, conducted by the ICGB joint venture whose stakeholders include Greece’s Public Gas Corporation (DEPA), the Bulgarian minister announced that six companies have submitted binding offers for the acquisition of capacity in the pipeline for quantities that total a greater capacity than what the IGB will allow for in its early stages.
Those companies are DEPA and Gastrade (of the Kopelouzos group) from Greece, Bulgargaz, Edison from Italy, Azerbaijan’s Socar and Noble from the US. The participation of Noble and Socar points to the interest the Americans and the Azeris have in the transmission of natural gas from the Shah Deniz 2 gas field through the Trans Adriatic Pipeline into the Western Balkans and of LNG from the US via the terminal station at Alexandroupoli, which is now becoming a realistic project.
The Alexandroupoli terminal has been included in the European Commission’s priority projects and in the list the government has submitted to Brussels for funding from the so-called “Juncker package” of subsidies. The terminal’s dependence on the IGB pipeline is also clear from the submission of a bid by Gastrade that is the main stakeholder in the Alexadroupoli terminal.