Interconnector Greece – Bulgaria (IGB)
The IGB project consists of an 182 km length pipeline (of which 31 km are on Greek territory), with associated support facilities (Metering Stations, Valve Stations, Operation Center). The Interconnector IGB will start in Komotini (Greece) and end in Stara Zagora (Bulgaria), connecting the Greek and Bulgarian National Natural Gas Systems (NNGS). The 32 inch diameter pipeline is designed to have an initial 3 billion cubic meters (bcm) annual capacity which may be expanded up to 5 bcm per year. The IGB offers reverse flow capacity. The project is developed by the Bulgarian company “ICGB AD – Interconnector Greece – Bulgaria”. The ICGB was incorporated in January 2011 with a mission to design, construct and operate the pipeline. The ICGB is a JV between the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and the Greek IGI Poseidon S.A. DEPA and Edison each hold a 50% stake in IGI Poseidon S.A.
The IGB enjoys the total support of the Greek and Bulgarian Governments and have characterized it a project of national importance and public interest. (Greece: Law 4001/2011, Article 176, Bulgaria: Bulgarian Cabinet Decision No 452 of 07.06.2012), while it is included in Greece’s list of fast track projects to ensure its swift realization. Also strongly endorsed on a European level, the IGB is labelled as a Project of Common Interest, (PCI), and is included in the list of priority infrastructure projects of Central and South Eastern Europe Gas Connectivity (CESEC).
The project has already obtained a grant of 45M€ from the European Energy Program for Recovery (EEPR) while supplementary forms of financing through the Structural Funds mechanism are being assessed, in order to secure the Project’s competitiveness.
The IGB’s Final Investment Decision was taken on 10 December 2015.
Based on the current timetable, construction of the project is scheduled to commence during the first quarter of 2018, and the IGB is envisaged to start operating in the first quarter of 2020.
The Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline (East Med)
East Med will connect the recently discovered gas fields in the Levantine Basin, in the south east Mediterranean, with mainland Greece and is projected to carry 8-14 bcm/y of natural gas to Greece and Europe.
The approximately 1900 km long pipeline (700 km on-shore, 1200 off-shore) consists of the three following main sections, as well as compressor stations located in Cyprus and Crete: (i) a pipeline from the fields to Cyprus, (ii) a pipeline connecting Cyprus to Crete, and (iii) a pipeline from Crete crossing mainland Greece up to the Ionian coast. From there the EastMed can link up with the offshore Poseidon pipeline enabling the delivery of additional diversified sources from the Levantine to Italy and beyond. The EastMed pipeline is preliminarily designed to have exit points in Cyprus, Crete, mainland Greece as well as the connection point with the Poseidon pipeline.
Since the end of July 2014, the Project is being developed by DEPA’s subsidiary company IGI Poseidon S.A in which the Italian Company Edison holds a 50% share.
The EastMed strengthens the EU’s energy security goals by creating diversification of routes and sources and is complementary with other export options developing the East Mediterranean Corridor.
It is designated by Greece as a project of national importance; it is a priority project for Italy and, since 2013 is promoted by the EU as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), benefiting from the fast-track procedures provided by Regulation 347/2013, while co-financing by the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility for the pre-FEED studies was approved in 2015.
The Pre-FEED studies underline the EastMed’s added value and its complementarity with other projects and demonstrate conclusively that the project is technically feasible, economically viable and commercially competitive, with the required engineering similar for projects already implemented (Medgaz pipeline Algeria – Spain) or planned (Galsi pipeline Algeria – Italy). Moreover, as a result of continuous technological progress the pipeline’s capacity could be increased to further enhance its economic potential.
The successful results of the pre-FEED studies have provided further impetus to the project’s development through initiatives at both the national and European level. In this context, in April 2017, the Energy Ministers of Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Israel, signed, in the presence of the EU Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, a quadrilateral joint declaration to follow closely the EastMed’s development and further support its promotion.
Interconnector Greece – Italy (IGI)
The IGI pipeline project consists of two sections: The 590 km onshore IGI pipeline crossing Greece from Komotini to the Thesprotia region, which is developed by DESFA,and the 207 km offshore Poseidon pipeline connecting the Greek and Italian transmission systems, from the shores of the Thesprotia region to Otranto in Italy which is developed by the Greek company IGI Poseidon S.A. (50% DEPA – 50% Edison).
The Poseidon pipeline consists of a 207 km long 32” diameter pipeline, a 120 MW compressor station and metering station. It is designed to have an initial 12 billion cubic meters (bcm) annual capacity and could potentially be expanded up to 20 bcm per year. Poseidon can carry gas from diversified sources that become available at Greece’s borders, including from the Caspian, Middle East and East-Mediterranean.
The Poseidon pipeline has been included in the European Union Projects of Common Interest list (PCI list) and benefits from the fast track procedures provided by the EU Regulation 347 of December 2013. Various studies have been co-financed by the TEN-E and the European Energy Program for Recovery (EEPR) funds.
The promoters have already obtained all mandatory authorizations to build and operate the project in Italy while in Greece permitting is being finalized.
The Final Investment Decision can be taken as soon as the prerequisite activities are completed. Based on the current timetable, the project could be commissioned at the end of 2022.
Other International Activities
DEPA is constantly engaged in discussions and cooperates with producers of natural gas, as well as of other innovative forms of gas, with a view to ensuring the continuous, sustainable and competitive energy supply of the Greek and regional markets.
DEPA actively explores opportunities for new strategic partnerships and commercial activities, assuming a leading presence in South East Europe and strengthening its international role.
Moreover, DEPA closely monitors European and international energy market trends, contributing actively to the debate and participating dynamically in initiatives shaping the fast changing developments of our industry.