site.btaUPDATED PMs Petkov, Mitsotakis Symbolically Let Gas Flow on Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector

PMs Petkov, Mitsotakis Symbolically Let Gas Flow on Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector
PMs Petkov, Mitsotakis Symbolically Let Gas Flow on Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector
Bulgarian PM Petkov (right) and Greek counterpart Mitsotakis (BTA Photo)

Outgoing Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis participated in a ceremony marking the completion of construction of the gas interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria. The event took place in one of the gas metering stations in the Greek town of Komotini. The two prime ministers symbolically let the gas flow by turning on the gas tap.

Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov also attended the ceremony.

Petkov said that the interconnector will transform the energy map of the region. He believes that the project will strengthen the energy connectivity between the two countries.

"By receiving Azeri gas in the next few weeks, Bulgaria achieves true diversification and puts an end to the Russian energy monopoly," Petkov added.

According to him, today [Friday, July 8] will go down in history of Bulgarian-Greek relations. "It will go down in the memories of our contemporaries as a symbol of our efforts to achieve political, economical and energy independence, a symbol of our values and geopolitical choice," Petkov said.

"I feel proud that I headed a government that managed to complete a project that has been talked about for years in six months," he added.

Petkov thanked Mitsotakis for his cooperation to complete the gas interconnector. In Petkov's words, this project is a new type of 'geopolitical friendship'.

Mitsotakis stressed that today is a very important moment for Komotini, Greece and Bulgaria. In his opinion, the opening of the interconnector is yet another push for the common European goal of achieving energy diversification, he also said.

The first tests along the pipeline have been running since mid-June. In parallel with the completion of construction and commissioning, a number of administrative procedures must be completed before the interconnector is put into commercial exploitation.

The commercial exploitation of the pipeline will begin after the obligatory administrative procedures are completed. By that time Bulgaria will receive agreed quantities of Azeri gas in full at the temporary point of delivery, Nea Mesimvria.

The Greece-Bulgaria interconnector links the natural gas transmission networks of the two neighbouring countries, thus providing access to the Southern Gas Corridor and a range of new gas sources. It will carry gas from Azerbaijan via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and from other sources via a planned liquefied natural gas terminal at Alexandroupolis, Northern Greece. The gas pipeline is 182 km long, of which 151 km in Bulgaria and 31 km in Greece, with a design capacity of up to 3 billion cu m/year, which may be increased to 5 billion cu m/year if there is market demand. It runs from Komotini (Northeastern Greece) via Kurdjali, Haskovo and Dimitrovgrad to Stara Zagora (Southeastern Bulgaria).

A memorandum of understanding for the project was signed back in 2009 and a joint company, ICGB, was registered in 2011. The initial plan was to commission the pipeline in December 2014.

(BTA correspondent Ivan Lazarov contributed to this story from Komotini.)

/KK/

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By 08:16 on 27.09.2022 Today`s news

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