Sunday, February 28, 2021

Greece, Bulgaria crew for hat trick on Russian fuel

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Greece and Bulgaria superior the event of three pure fuel tasks this week that can reduce the 2 international locations’ dependence on Russian fuel.

Greece’s parliament ratified on January 26 a cooperation settlement on the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) pipeline and the muse treaty of the EastMed Gas Forum (EMGF) whereas two days later Bulgaria’s state fuel firm Bulgartransgaz finalised a deal to take 20% of Greek firm Gastrade, which is growing the Alexandroupolis foating LNG receiving, storage and regasification unit (FSRU). Greece’s Public Gas Corporation DEPA and GasLog additionally maintain 20% stakes within the LNG facility which is anticipated to start working in 2023.

“Bulgaria’s dedication to purchase 20% into the Alexandroupolis LNG terminal is good news, Charles Ellinas, senior fellow, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council, informed New Europe on January 28.

The LNG terminal, which may have an estimated annual capability of about 5.5 billion cubic metres, will purpose to provide fuel to southeastern Europe through IGB. “Not only it strengthens that project, but it also dovetails well into the IGB interconnector project, of which Bulgaria is co-owner. The synergy and combination of the two projects enhances Greece’s strategic role in the region, but it also ensures diversity and security of gas supplies for both countries, by opening up another supply route other than Russian pipeline gas,” Ellinas added.

The IGB pipeline is anticipated, beneath the present circumstances, to be accomplished by the top of 2021, Greece’s Environment and Energy Ministry stated in an emailed notice on January 26.

The pipeline is anticipated to cut back Greece and Bulgaria’s reliance on Russian fuel as at its start line, in Greece, the pipeline can be related to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the system of Greek pure fuel transmission operator DESFA whereas at its finish it will likely be related to the system of Bulgarian fuel operator Bulgartransgaz. “By providing gas supply from an additional input source, the IGB will enhance the security of supply in Southeast Europe,” Greece’s Energy Ministry stated.

With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Greece and Bulgaria in 2009, the foundations have been laid for the development of the interconnection pipeline between the 2 international locations, the Greek ministry stated, including that the work of the IGB has been characterised as a challenge of “National Importance” by Greece, in addition to by the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria.

On October 10, 2019, in a particular ceremony in Sofia, the Intergovernmental Agreement for the promotion of the pipeline was signed between the 2 international locations. The settlement was ratified by the Bulgarian Parliament on July 2, 2020, and has already been forwarded to the Greek Parliament for ratification.

The IGB pipeline will join Komotini in Greece with Stara Zagora in Bulgaria. The size of the pipeline is estimated at 182 kilometers, of which 151 kilometers are in Bulgaria and the remaining 31 kilometers in Greece. The diameter of the pipe reaches 32 inches (813 mm).

The capability of the pipeline reaches three billion cubic meters per yr at an estimated value of €220 million, with the potential of reverse move. The capability might be elevated to five billion cubic meters per yr with the extra set up of a compression Station. The challenge additionally consists of the required assist services.

The design, development and operation work has been undertaken by the ICGB consortium. The shareholders of the corporate are by 50% the Greek firm Poseidon, through which DEPA and Italy’s Edison take part equally, and by the remaining 50% the Bulgarian state firm Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH).

The European Energy Program for Recovery/EEPR is funding 20% of the challenge because the IGB has been included within the checklist of EU Projects of Common Interest.

By December 2020, 52% of the challenge had been accomplished, whereas 37% of the pipeline had been constructed.

Greece’s Energy Ministry on January 26 reiterated the geopolitical significance of the development and operation of the IGB challenge, noting that the challenge increase’s the nation’s geostrategic place as a gateway for pure fuel to the European market from diversified sources and primarily from TAP.

In addition, nonetheless, it makes use of the deliberate Alexandroupolis FSRU because the portions that can be imported by means of it are foreseen to be transported to the North through IGB.

The IGB is the primary a part of the so-called Vertical Corridor, interconnecting the nationwide fuel techniques of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary with the purpose of alternatively supplying the international locations of Southeastern and Central Europe.

Turning to the ratification of the muse treaty of the EastMed Gas Forum by the Greek Parliament, Greece’s Environment and Energy Ministry reminded that the principle objective of the EMGF Regional Agency is to behave as a bridge that can convey fuel producers, shoppers and transit international locations collectively, with the last word purpose of growing a sustainable regional fuel market within the Eastern Mediterranean.

During the primary assembly of the Energy Ministers of Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, Palestine, Israel and Italy, which passed off in Cairo on January 14, 2019, the Ministers introduced their intention to determine a Forum. The basis treaty of the EMGF was signed in September 2020 by its seven members – Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Palestine – and has already been ratified by 4 of them.

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