Tractebel consortium will construct Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas pipeline project
Tractebel, an international engineering company from Belgium will feature in a consortium which will undertake the construction of a new natural gas pipeline connecting Bulgarian and Greek energy markets. The Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB Pipeline) project will begin from the region near the city of Komotini in north-eastern Greece and will extend 182 kilometres north near the city of Stara Zagora. Stara Zagora is located near the port city of Burgas, situated 230 kilometres east of the capital Sofia.
The IGB Project
The Tractebel consortium has pledged to an investment of €5.7 billion on Friday, surmounting competition from twelve other bids. Construction works will initiate by July 2019, aiming to constitute the project operational by mid-2020. The pipeline network will host Azeri natural gas quantities in an attempt to further diversify the Black Sea region’s energy resources. Most states around the Black Sea are heavily reliant on Russian gas exports, constituting the construction of the IGB pipeline an imperative infrastructural development for the greater energy independence of the region. The pipeline will be able to accommodate natural gas volumes up to 3 billion cubic metres per annum. Future pipeline modernisations may constitute the IGB pipeline network capable of handling more than 5 billion cubic metres per year.
Business Overview of the IGB Project
The consortium is consisted of Tractebel’s Belgian and Italian subsidiaries, Austrian Intber consultancy and the Bulgarian representatives of Ipsilon Consult and Bulgaria Engineering. The IGB Company (ICBG), the legal owner of the project is registered as a Bulgarian commercial entity and possesses the 50% of the project. The ICBG derives from the state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) Corporation. The remaining 50% of the project’s shares are held by a joint conglomerate IGI Poseidon – equally made up of Greece’s energy contractor DEPA and Italy’s counterpart Edison.
The IGB pipeline project was born as an idea back in July 2009 when Bulgaria with Greece signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) envisioning the eventual construction of the project. The European Union supports the IGB project, donating more than €45 million to cover for the project’s bureaucratic expenses.