Bulgaria-Greece Gas Link Gets 215 Million Levs in State Guarantee

Bulgaria-Greece Gas Link Gets 215 Million Levs in State Guarantee

Bulgaria's government is to issue guarantees worth 215 million levs (109 million euros) for the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) project in 2016, the cabinet's press office has said.
The decision, announced at a Wednesday cabinet meeting, has turned IGB into the single state-guaranteed investment project for which the government will secure funding by taking out more loans.
As of 2015, government guarantees earmarked for the project are 157million levs. The increase is explained with the need to optimize the project's financial structure to improve economic competitiveness.
IGB was approved for funding both this and last year, but the start of construction suffered delays due to technical issues.
The government on Wednesday said it had included it in the 2016 budget draft "considering its strategic importance for gaining access to alternative sources of gas supplies and supply crisis prevention, respectively [crisis prevention] of the Bulgarian economy."
IGB has also been encouraged by Washington, with US Secretary of State John Kerry pledging in January to assist in securing EU funding for the interconnector.

Sofia News Agency

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