Italy-Greece Interconnector to become operational in 2011

Greece and Italy are planning to build a 220-km pipeline that will transport 8 billion cu m/year of gas from the Capsian Sea to Europe via Turkey from 2011.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Feb. 2 -- Greece and Italy are planning to build a 220-km pipeline that will transport 8 billion cu m/year of gas from the Capsian Sea to Europe via Turkey from 2011. The protocol of intent was signed Jan. 31 in Athens by Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and his Italian counterpart, Pierluigi Bersani.

Next year both countries will start building the subsea underwater pipeline between Greece's west coast and southern Italy. Italy's Edison SPA and Greece's Depa will have a respective 80-20 transmission capacity in the pipeline, which has been dubbed the Italy Greece Interconnector (IGI). IGI will be linked to an existing pipeline connecting Turkey and Greece, which is to start operations later this year.

Third parties also will gain access to some incremental IGI capacity. The companies agreed to swap larger amounts of gas at the virtual Italian Swap Point, contributing to the establishment of a gas exchange.

Edison and Depa have already started negotiations for gas supplies from some producing countries in the Caspian Sea basin and with those that will cross the pipeline.

Edison said that the commitment from the governments would fast-track construction of the pipeline because of its strategic importance to the European Union in diversifying its gas supplies. Russia supplies about 25% of western Europe's gas needs.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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