Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited the Greek-Bulgarian border, at the village of Kirkovo on Wednesday, to attend a ceremony for the launching of the construction of a new gas pipeline. The new pipeline will be called “Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria,” or IGB.
Tsipras and the Greek delegation were welcomed by Bulgarian Premier Boyko Borissov and several Bulgarian government ministers.
The project aims to bring Azerbaijani natural gas to Bulgaria and the rest of the Balkans, as part of an EU attempt to diversify its resources. Bulgaria is almost completely reliant on Russian gas for its needs at the present time.
The IGB will connect Greek and Bulgarian gas transfer stations which are already in existence in Komotini, Greece and Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. These stations are already fully operational, and the pipeline which will connect them will have a length of 182 kilometers (113 miles).
Upon its construction, the pipeline will be able to transport up to five billion cubic meters of gas to the Balkans annually. Its cost is believed to be approximately €220 million, with a significant part of the project being financed by the European Union itself.
The IGB is expected to play a crucial role in the future interconnection of the nations in the southeastern European Union, including Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.
— Boyko Borissov (@BoykoBorissov) May 22, 2019
Στο Κίρκοβο της Βουλγαρίας εγκαινιάσαμε σήμερα με τον @BoykoBorissov την έναρξη της κατασκευής του διασυνδετηρίου αγωγού φυσικού αερίου Ελλάδας – Βουλγαρίας (IGB). Με τον IGB, Ελλάδα και Βουλγαρία καθίστανται βασικοί πυλώνες της ενεργειακής στρατηγικής της Ε.Ε. pic.twitter.com/lWYHmHbkNd
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) May 22, 2019