>@Dusan Ondrejicka/EIB
©Dusan Ondrejicka/EIB
  • The EIB will co-finance the construction of a 182 km-long cross-border bidirectional pipeline interconnecting the natural gas systems of Bulgaria and Greece, a Project of Common Interest (PCI) of the European Union
  • The project is a key part of the strategy for greater integration of European energy markets focusing on the Bulgaria-Greece, Bulgaria-Romania and Romania-Hungary interconnections

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide a EUR 110m loan for the construction of a gas systems interconnection facility between Bulgaria and Greece (ICGB). The interconnector will also help establish a link with the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP), which runs from east to west through northern Greece.  

This will contribute to the diversification of energy supply in Bulgaria and south-eastern Europe. It is part of a wider plan to better connect energy markets among neighbouring countries – including Romania and Hungary – with the aim of improving the security of gas supplies in the region and the efficiency of the networks.

The 182 km-long gas pipeline comprises 151 km in Bulgaria (connected to the Bulgarian gas transmission backbone in Stara Zagora) and 31 km in Greece (linked to the Greek gas system and to the TAP in Komotini). The initial capacity of the new pipeline will be 3 billion cubic metres per year (bcm/y), with it being possible to increase this to 5 bcm/y by adding a compressor station.

The project is supported and co-financed by the European Union. It is included on the list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), which are key cross border infrastructure projects that link the energy systems of EU countries. PCIs are intended to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives: affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all citizens, and the long-term decarbonisation of the economy in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

The EIB loan will be provided to the Bulgarian state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding company. The project promoter and beneficiary is ICGB AD (Inter Connector Greece Bulgaria), specifically established to develop, construct, finance, own and operate the pipeline.

The project will be implemented across the two Bulgarian regions of South Central and South Eastern and the Greek region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace – all of which are classified as EIB priority EU cohesion policy regions.