Greek-Bulgarian interconnection agreement ‘to be signed tomorrow’

An interconnection agreement for the Greek and Bulgarian natural gas markets will be signed tomorrow, promising to further liberalize gas trade, Konstantinos Xifaras, managing director of DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator, told an Economist conference in Athens today.

“The agreement will bolster supply security and increase transboundary trade,” remarked Xifaras, who informed that it will be signed in Sidirokastro, right by Greece’s border with Bulgaria, in the country’s northeast, with EU officials in attendance.

The agreement will allow other gas companies beyond DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, and Russia’s Gazprom, to operate in the region as of July 1, Xifaras told the conference.

Xifaras noted that the anticipated increase in demand for natural gas is commonly accepted in the EU, meaning that import dependence will grow.

Development of the Southern Corridor will represent an important step towards energy integration in the EU, he said, adding that DESFA will support the development of at least three supply sources for the region.

The DESFA official also noted that work to upgrade Greece’s existing LNG station on the islet Revythoussa, just off Athens, was continuing, which, he added, will increase the availability of LNG.