Greek natural gas transmission system operator DESFA has completed the first phase of the works for the second upgrade of the border metering station in Sidirokastro, part of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB Pipeline), enabling natural gas exports towards Bulgaria, the company said.
"In the near future, it is expected by companies that are active in the natural gas markets of both countries to express interest for the commercial use of the new capacity that was created in the interconnection point of the natural gas transmission network between Greece and Bulgaria," DESFA said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Greek company also said it has invested a total of 3.3 million euro ($4.5 million) in the implementation of the project.
The IGB Pipeline will carry 3.0 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas anualy 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 kilometer 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.
The project has received 45 million euro in EU financial support through the European Energy Program for Recovery and has also been included by the European Commission in a proposal to the European Parliament for funding through the Projects of Common Interest program, a final decision on which is expected by mid-2014.