Binding phase for the IGB pipeline’s capacity expansion begins

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Following a successful non-binding phase in 2023, Bulgaria’s independent transmission system operator ICGB (Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria) has initiated the binding phase of the incremental capacity process.

As part of the Vertical Gas Corridor initiative, uniting the TSOs of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldova and Slovakia, ICGB’s efforts are focused on enabling increased capacity options for natural gas deliveries to Central and Southeastern Europe, as well as Ukraine and Moldova.

Jointly with adjacent TSOs, ICGB has published the notices that initiate the binding phase which has to determine the market’s binding interest in booking the IGB pipeline’s incremental capacity. Currently operating at 3 billion cubic metres per year (bcm/y), the interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria can be upgraded to 5 bcm/y upon successful completion of the respective procedure.

ICGB is inviting all interested parties to submit their registration documents by 24 June 2024 and binding bids later at the bid submission window between 2 and 12 July 2024. All following steps of the binding phase will continue in the following months, with results expected in September 2024.

Fostering stronger collaboration on utilising the existing natural gas infrastructure, expansion initiatives under the Vertical Gas Corridor will ensure increased energy connectivity and the ability to import larger quantities of natural gas from diverse sources to meet the consumption needs of the European markets. IGB’s key role as an entryway for gas deliveries from diversified sources is of significant importance for the wider region, and an expansion will allow for improved market access to LNG as well.

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