The construction of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB Pipeline) is expected to be completed no sooner than 2017, Bulgarian deputy prime minister Daniela Bobeva said.
The construction of the gas link with Greece, alongside gas interconnectors with Turkey and Serbia, is of priority importance for the government, Bobeva said in a government press release.
In March, an official of the state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding said the construction of the gas interconnector is expected to begin in 2015.
The IGB Pipeline will carry 3.0 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas anually in its initial stage and will have a maximum capacity of 5.0 bcm per year. It will be eventually connected to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), carrying natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe through Greece.
The IGB Pipeline, which will be 182 kilometre long, will start at the northeastern Greek city of Komotini and end at Stara Zagora in Bulgaria. It is estimated to cost 220 million euro ($298 million).
In May Greek natural gas transmission system operator DESFA said it has completed the first phase of the works for the second upgrade of the border metering station in Sidirokastro, part of the IGB Pipeline, enabling natural gas exports towards Bulgaria. The Greek company also said it has invested a total of 3.3 million euro in the implementation of the project.