Several gas-to-gas agreements between Bulgaria and Greece have been signed in Sofia. The treaties were signed by the line ministers of the two countries - Temenuzhka Petkova, Konstantinos Hatzidakis, shareholders, the European Investment Bank and BEH.
The two ministers also signed an additional tax regime agreement for the pipeline for 25 years.
Following the signing, Greek Minister Konstantinos Hatzidakis said he was particularly excited to sign the documents for a 10-year project. Various factors have influenced to delay the construction time so much. The Minister assured that the pipe would be completed in 30 months.
During the bilateral talks, the ministers also discussed the development of a power line between the neighboring country and Maritza East.
For her part, Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said the project would completely change the appearance of the gas market throughout the region. "The project is irreversible, the financing is guaranteed," Petkova said and promised that the construction would be accelerated and commercial operation would start at the end of 2020.
The gas pipeline will connect the Greek national gas transmission system in the region of Komotini to the Bulgarian national gas transmission system in the region of Stara Zagora. The total length is planned to be 182 km and a design capacity of up to 3 billion cubic meters per year in the direction of Greece-Bulgaria.
Depending on market interest in using more capacity and the capabilities of neighboring gas transmission systems, capacity is designed to increase to 5 billion cubic meters.
The construction of the pipe is realized by the joint venture company ICGI with shareholders BEH (50%) and IGI Poseidon (50%). IGI Poseidon is a Greek-registered company with shareholders in the Greek public gas corporation DEPA (50%) and the Italian Edison (50%).
The start of the project began with the signing of an intergovernmental contract in 2009. The project was declared a project of national importance.
Financing of EUR 149 million was provided by the Bulgarian side with the support of the European Commission.