Bulgaria seeks ratification of state guarantee for BEH loan

Bulgaria seeks ratification of state guarantee for BEH loan

Bulgaria's government said on Wednesday that it is proposing to parliament to ratify the guarantee agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB), concerning the 215 million levs (122 million/110 million euro) loan which the lender is providing to Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH).The ratification of the guarantee agreement is a precondition for the disbursement of the funds, the government said following its weekly meeting on Wednesday.The funds will be used to finance the construction of the gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria, which is expected to cost some 240 million euro.In November 2018, the European Commission said that a state guarantee for the EIB loan will not be in breach of EU state aid rules.The gas link will connect the Greek gas transmission system in the area of Komotini to the Bulgarian gas transmission system in the area of Stara Zagora.The planned length of the gas pipeline is 182 km and the projected capacity will be up to 3 billion cu m per year in the direction from Greece to Bulgaria. Depending on interest from the market and the capacities of the neighbouring gas transmission systems, the capacity of the pipeline can be increased to up to 5 billion cu m per year, thus allowing for physical reverse flow from Bulgaria to Greece with the additional installation of a compressor station.The project is being implemented by the joint venture company ICGB, in which BEH and Greece-registered IGI Poseidon hold equal stakes. Greek public gas corporation DEPA and Italian energy group Edison own 50% each of IGI Poseidon.

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