Vertical Corridor partners set for new agreement to be signed in Athens

Bulgarian, Romanian and Hungarian gas grid operator representatives are soon expected to travel to Athens to sign a new agreement with their Greek counterpart for the Vertical Corridor, to run though the territories of all these countries.

Two months ago, the four gas grid operators along with ICGB, the consortium behind the prospective IGB (Greek-Bulgarian Interconnector) pipeline project, signed a joint declaration in Budapest to intensify efforts at technical and regulatory levels in order to further propel the Vertical Corridor’s prospects.

A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed by the gas grid operators of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary as well as Ukraine. The representative operators – Greece’s DESFA, Bulgaria’s Bulgartransgaz, Romania’s Transgaz, Hungary’s FGSZ and Ukraine’s Uktransgaz – have now decided to take the next step and sign a MoU for the project’s construction.

Romania, whose existing gas network needs to be upgraded if it is to be incorporated into the Vertical Corridor, will use the MoU as support in its quest for related EU funds.

The Vertical Corridor will enable gas flow from the south to the north. Greece’s exisiting LNG terminal in Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens, could supply the Vertical Corridor. The Greek unit’s capacity will be boosted once revamp work there is completed. As a result, southeast European countries will be provided access to LNG.

The Vertical Corridor, to incorporate the IGB interconnector, will provide southeast Europe with access to Caspian gas that will be transmitted to the region through the TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) project, now being developed.

Brussels, backing these projects, is keeping a close watch on developments.