Construction of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB Pipeline) is expected to begin in 2015, an official of the state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) said.
"By the end of the year we expect [to have obtained] construction permission, and construction will be started next year,” Rosen Simitchiev, expert at BEH's project management directorate, said during the First Energy and Geopolitics Roundtable, organised by Greek-based Institute of Energy for South East Europe (IENE) in Sofia.
The 182-kilometre IGB Pipeline, which will start at the northeastern Greek city of Komotini and end at Stara Zagora, in southern Bulgaria, will carry 3.0 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas annually 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 pipeline, which is expected to become operational in 2016, is estimated to cost 220 million euro ($304 million).