Parliament today ratified the Greece-Bulgaria cooperation agreement on the IGB (Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria) natural gas pipeline project and the related foundation treaty of the EastMed Gas Forum (EMGF).

The deal is yet another step in implementing a Greece-Bulgaria joint venture that was launched nearly a decade ago and has been touted as a substantial move in pursuing Greece’s role as a regional energy hub.

The project is being run by a joint venture company, ICGB AD, registered in Bulgaria in 2011.

The shareholder companies are the Bulgarian BEH EAD (50 percent) and the Greek IGI Poseidon company, registered in Greece.

IGI Poseidon’s shareholders are the Greek public gas corporation DEPA SA (50 percent) and the Italian energy group Edison SpA (50%).

“In accordance with its Articles of Association, ICGB AD will be the owner of the IGB gas pipeline and will finance its realization, will allocate its capacity and will receive the revenue from the transportation of natural gas,” according to the official IGB website.

The 182km IGB gas pipeline will be connected with the Greek national gas transmission system in Komotini and with the Bulgarian national gas transmission system in Stara Zagora.

An inter-governmental MOU was signed in 2009 establishing state support of the project by Athens and Sofia,

The environment and energy ministry bill passed into law today is entitled «Ratification of the Intergovernmental Agreement between the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Bulgaria on the Greece-Bulgaria interconnection pipeline (IGB Project)» and «Ratification of the Statute (Establishment) of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF)».

The Greece-Bulgaria agreement includes mutual commitments for the construction of the gas pipeline and for the transportation of gas after the project has been completed.

The agreement also sets out the terms of taxation of the project and of the distribution of profits.

The IGB gas pipeline connects with the Greek national gas transmission system in the area of Komotini, northern Greece, and the Bulgarian national gas transmission system in the area of Stara Zagora.

The new Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said that the project is 52 percent complete and is expected to have finished by the end of 2021.

The EastMed Gas Forum is an energy alliance among Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Jordan, and Palestine established in January 2020.

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