ATHENS -- Parliament's Production and Trade Committee has concluded a debate on the environment and energy ministry's draft law for: a) "Ratification of the Intergovernmental Agreement between the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Bulgaria on the Greece-Bulgaria interconnection pipeline (IGB Project)"; and b) "Ratification of the Statute (Establishment) of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF)".
According to an announcement on Friday, ruling New Democracy voted in favour of the bill. Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance and the smaller opposition parties Movement for Change, Hellenic Solution expressed reservations, while the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and MERA25 voted against.
Environment and Energy Minister Konstantinos Skrekas said the two agreements were a "positive milestone" for Greece's international energy policy and for the country's general geopolitical dynamics, expressing the belief that Greece will play a leading role in political and economic developments in the Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.
"At a strategic level, the forthcoming operation of the IGB, which is a dual-flow pipeline, will be the beginning of the implementation of a strategic priority of our international energy policy, that of the vertical gas pipelines, through which the markets of the Balkans and Central Europe will be supplied with natural gas via alternative routes and with infrastructure starting in northern Greece. So, northern Greece is really becoming a major and strategically important energy hub for the transportation of natural gas," said Skrekas.
The IGB will not only transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea, since it is connected to the TransAdriatic Pipeline (TAP), but also through the floating terminal of Alexandroupolis (floating storage and regasification unit), he added.