EU additional grant decision for IGB expected in first quarter of 2018

ICGB AD, the company engaged in the development of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) project, currently has access to an approved European Energy Program for Recovery grant that may reach as much as 45 million euros, Teodora Georgieva, executive officer at the ICGB joint venture, has told Azerbaijani news ageny Trend

“Furthermore, the project’s company is involved in an ongoing application process for structural funds offering [additional] financing to Bulgaria and Greece, as the targeted additional grant financing to be obtained by both countries amounts to 39 million euros and 12 million euros, respectively,” said the executive officer.

The additional EU structural funds grant for Greece and Bulgaria is subject to evaluation by the European Commission and the final decision is expected in the first quarter of 2018, she added.

Georgieva noted that besides the approved grant financing and the open application for additional grant financing, the Bulgarian government has approved, in the adopted budget for 2017, a state guarantee of up to 110 million euros in negotiated borrowing for the ICGB project.

She recalled that an 80 million-euro state guarantee for the project was first approved in the 2015 state budget before being increased to 110 million euros in the 2016 state budget.

“The total investment cost of the project is estimated at approximately 240 million euros (excluding the value-added tax) out of which 220 million euros account for capital expenditures. The funds for the project are to be provided by a grant financing, shareholder loan / equity and external loan financing,” added Georgieva.

The IGB gas pipeline will enable supply to Bulgaria of Azerbaijani gas, especially gas produced by Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz 2 field. The IGB is planned to be connected to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), offering Shah Deniz field gas deliveries to European markets. TAP will run across Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy.

The initial capacity of IGB will be 3 billion cubic meters of gas.