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13.05.2016 16:45

On 16 may Greek and Bulgarian Energy Ministers to discuss sources of gas for IGB, including gas from Azerbaijan

The energy ministers of Greece and Bulgaria, Panos Skourletis and Temenujka Petkova respectively, will hold a meeting in Greece on 16 May, in which, in particular, they will discuss the sources of gas for future gas pipeline Interconnnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB).

Mr. Skourletis informed that on 17 May Thessaloniki will host the ceremony of laying Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) with participation of delegations from Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Turkey, the EU and some European companies.

"Greece obtains to increase its role as a regional energy centre, implementing TAP for gas transportation from Azerbaijan to Europe. It is planned to connect TAP with IGB. There are also plans to acquire liquefied natural gas (LNG)," the minister said.

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) is participating in the TAP project and wants to obtain capacities in IGB for pumping Caspian gas via it.

A SOCAR source says that over the past 6 months two market tests on the IGB have been conducted to clarify the demand for it and its capacity.

"IGB is of interest for SOCAR. Weve applied for certain capacity in it. The final decision on the construction of this gas pipeline will be taken by the end of 2016," the SOCAR representative said.

Yesterday Greek energy minister Panos Skourletis in Athens and SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev in Baku informed that bilateral talks on joint projects TAP, IGB, and gas distribution company DESFA are expected on 17 May.

"SOCAR is still looking for an investor for sale of about 17% of the 66% stake in DESFA, which is a key condition for the completion of the acquisition of DESFA by the state oil company of Azerbaijan," the Greek minister said.

SOCAR concluded a deal with the Greek government in 2013 for purchase of a 66% stake in DESFA for 400 million euro ($448 million), but the transaction was not approved by the EU in connection with the antitrust problems.

Debt-ridden Greece wants to obtain 188 million euro in cash from this transaction.

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