Bulgaria launches EUR 73 million gas interconnector project


Bulgaria is launching a public procurement for Gas Interconnection Bulgaria-Serbia (IBS), a reverse connection that will link the national gas transmission networks of Bulgaria and Serbia. The estimated value of the project is EUR 73 million (BGN 143,559,450), and stakeholders have until 22 February 2021 to file offers. 


The gas pipeline’s total length is approximately 170 km from the town of Novi Iskar, Bulgaria, to Niš in Serbia. Since 62 km of the line will be on Bulgarian territory, Bulgaria's gas transmission operator Bulgartransgaz EAD is holding the public procurement procedure for “Investment design–working design phase, delivery of the necessary materials and equipment, construction and commissioning of the site: 'Interconnection gas connection Bulgaria - Serbia on Bulgarian territory'”. 

On Bulgarian territory, the IBS development is classified as a Project of Common Interest, according to Regulation (EU) 347/2013, and part of priority corridor North-South Gas Interconnections in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe (NSI East Gas). 

Project background

Completing the Interconnection Bulgaria-Serbia is part of the Bulgarian government's management programme in the Energy sector, a priority for Bulgarian energy policy aimed at ensuring the country's energy security, diversifying supply sources and routes, fostering energy market liberalisation and protecting consumer rights.

Through Decision No. 111 of 15 February 2013 of the Council of Ministers, the area to be developed on Bulgarian territory has been declared a site of national significance. The project follows the diplomatic line of established relations between the two countries according to the signed Memorandum of Understanding for the Project Gas Interconnection between Bulgaria and Serbia, dated 14 December 2012. In May 2018, Bulgaria's Minister of Energy and Serbia's Minister of Mining and Energy signed a joint declaration on the construction of the gas interconnection. After the consent of the European Commission, Bulgartransgaz EAD was selected as project promoter and future operator of the interconnection, leading to a joint commitment by both parties to complete construction on the gas pipeline by mid-2022. 

Future prospects

Secure access to natural gas is expected to do the following for Bulgaria: reduce energy dependency, ensure a gas supply along the route of the interconnection for all household and industrial users, ensure recovery and economic development in the municipalities along the pipeline route, enable enterprises switching from electricity and petroleum products to natural gas, generate significant savings and reduce harmful emissions. As a result, the IBS project is considered to be extremely important for the Bulgarian economy.

For more information on the IBS project and opportunities in the Bulgarian energy sector, contact your CMS partner or local CMS experts: Kostadin Sirleshtov and Elena Yotova-Yordanova.

The article is co-authored by Diyan Georgiev.