Gas Interconnector Greece - Bulgaria (IGB)

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Gas Interconnector Greece - Bulgaria (IGB) is an under construction pipeline linking gas from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria via Greece.[1] It is also known as the Stara Zagora-Komotini pipeline.


The pipeline will begin at Komotini in Greece and end at Stara Zagora in Bulgaria, including approximately 31km running through Greece and 151km through Bulgaria.[2] The exact proposed route of IGB can be found on page 74 of the Bulgartransgaz 2020-2029 development plan.[3]

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Project Details

  • Operator: IGI Poseidon (50%); Bulgarian Energy (50%)
  • Proposed capacity: 3 bcm/y[4]
    • Proposed capacity expansion: 5 bcm/y[4]
  • Length: 182 km / 114 mi[5]
  • Status: Construction
  • Start Year: 2021


The IGB pipeline has been under development since 2009, following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the governments of Greece and Bulgaria outlining the creation of a gas interconnection linking the two countries. The project is currently in its final development stages before beginning construction.[1]

Construction of the pipeline started in 2018 and was expected to be completed by 2020.[1]

The 182 kilometer pipeline will deliver gas from Azerbaijan through Greece to Bulgaria and will maintain an initial capacity of 3 bcm per year, with a potential to expand its capacity to 5 billion bcm per year. IGB pipeline will cost an estimated €160m ($170m), of which up to €45m ($48m) will be provided by the European Commission (EC) under the European Energy Program for Recovery.[1]

In July of 2019, the Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) issued ICGB AD a license for an Independent Transmission System Operator (INGS). The license pertains to the Greek section of the IGB project and was issued for a period of fifty (50) years. It expires on June 27, 2069. It entitles ICGB AD to start the construction of the project, including the pipeline and auxiliary facilities and equipment on the territory of Greece. Obtaining this permit was the final step prior to construction.[6]

In September of 2019, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissova announced that funding for the Bulgaria-Greece interconnector had been fully secured.[7]

70 of the 182 km of pipeline were reportedly placed as of May, 15 2020, according to a press release on the ICGB website. ICGB stated that "deadlines for the construction of the interconnector are not seriously affected despite the challenges that COVID-19 brings."[4] The project was still under construction as of July 17, 2020.[8] Bulgartransgaz stated in March 2020 that IGB was expected to run in operation by July 1, 2021.[3]


The projects European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas project code on the ENTSOG TYNDP 2020 - Annex A is TRA-F-378[9]

The project's Projects of the Common Interest 3rd List Code is 6.8.1.[9]

Technical Details

In order to create an expanded maximum capacity of 5bcm, the project will also necessitate maintaining 57barg pressure at Komotini and 52barg outlet pressure at Stara Zagora. A 10MW compressor station will also be required to be installed at Haskovo, Bulgaria. The project also includes the installation of infrastructure including nine block valve stations, SCADA / control and telecommunications facilities, and two terminal scraper stations. Two gas metering stations at Komotini and Stara Zagora, and two off-take and automated gas regulation stations in Kardjali and Dimitrovgrad will also be developed.[1]


The pipeline has been approved for inclusion on the European Commission's Projects of Common Interest list, meaning it will receive public funding from the EU. According to the European Commission, "Construction of a bi-directional gas interconnector between the high pressure natural gas systems of Greece and Bulgaria with a technical capacity of up to 3 BCM/year, capable to be increased to up to 5 BCM/year with the installation of a Compressor Station (CS). New onshore pipeline with a length of 185 km and a daily capacity of approximately 13.7 MCM/day. compressor station at Kipoi will be needed to ensure the supply with gas of the IGB from the DESFA system. The power of the CS is of approximately 12 MW. The metering station at Komotini will enable the Gas Transmission System of Greece to supply gas into the IGB pipeline."[10] In October 2019 the European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to provide a 110 million euro loan for construction, out of a total estimated cost of 240 million euros.[11]


The project is being developed by the joint venture company ICGB, in which state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and Greek IGI Poseidon hold equal shares. Greek public gas corporation DEPA and Italian energy group Edison own 50% each of IGI Poseidon.[12]

Protest by workers

In August 2020 dozens of workers on the pipeline staged a protest in Haskovo, Bulgaria, saying they had not been paid in three months.[13]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) Pipeline, Hydrocarbons Technology, accessed April, 2018
  2. "IGB". IGI Poseidon. 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bulgartransgaz EAD (March 2020). "2020 - 2029 TEN-YEAR NETWORK DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF BULGARTRANSGAZ EAD" (PDF). Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "ICGB AD Bulgaria". Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  5. "ICGB AD Bulgaria". Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  6. Greece Has Granted a Gas Interconnector License to Bulgaria, July 22, 2018
  7. PM Boyko Borissov: We have fully secured the funding of the Bulgaria-Greece interconnector Focus News Agency, September 11, 2019
  8. "ICGB AD Bulgaria". Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "TYNDP | ENTSOG". Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  10. Interconnection Greece – Bulgaria European Commission, November 2019
  11. EIB to Finance Bulgaria-Greece Gas Link, Pipeline & Gas Journal, Oct. 10, 2019
  12. ICGB Launces Pipe Supply Tender for Greece-Bulgaria Gas Link, SeeNews, accessed April, 2018
  13. Georgi Gotev, Strategic gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria on bumpy road, Euractiv Bulgaria, Aug. 6, 2020

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