(Fixes typo in headline)
SOFIA Dec 3 Five binding offers were submitted
for the use of the natural gas pipeline between Bulgaria and
Greece, the joint venture building the link said in a statement.
Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), estimated to cost 220
million euros ($235 million), will transport gas with a total
capacity of 4.3 billion cubic meters.
"The announced capacity within the second phase of the
market test amounts to 2.7 billion cubic meters, 1.57 billion
cubic meters of which are reserved," joint-venture ICGB said in
According to the procedure, the market test will be
completed with the implementation of the advanced reservation
capacity agreements by the companies which submitted the offers,
upon approval of the relevant allocation by the national
regulators of the Balkan neighbours Greece and Bulgaria, ICGB
Bulgarian state-owned energy holding company BEH has 50
percent in the joint venture which will build the IGB pipeline,
while Greek state energy firm DEPA and Italy's Edison
hold 25 percent each.
In October, ICGB extended the deadline for submitting
binding offers in the second stage of the market test to Nov. 30
due to requests from bidders. During the first bidding round
ICGB received nine non-binding offers.
The three shareholders in IGB, as well as Austria's OMV
, Greece's Gastrade, U.S. Noble Energy and
Azerbaijan's SOCAR have expressed an interest among others.
Last year, Bulgaria and Greece agreed to build the 182 km
pipeline, which will help Sofia cut its almost total dependence
on Russian gas and improve the security of its supplies.
($1 = 0.9373 euros)
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Toby Chopra)