Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO), in collaboration with the Bulgarian Electricity Transmission System Operator, ESO EAD, successfully activated the recently established international ultra-high voltage 400kV electrical interconnection connecting Greece and Bulgaria. The transmission of energy through this new line began on 30 June, following the dedicated efforts of the skilled personnel from both Transmission System Operators in ensuring the smooth initiation of the trial operation.

With the establishment of this second Transmission Line, the capacity for energy exchanges between Greece and Bulgaria has been substantially enhanced. This development brings about notable advancements in cross-border trade and reinforces energy security in Southeast Europe and the Balkan Peninsula. In the coming period, a dedicated working group comprising all regional Operators will collaborate to determine the progressively increasing transmission capacity available on the Greece-Bulgaria border. By the end of the summer season, it is anticipated that the new Line will actively contribute to cross-border trade, further bolstering regional energy cooperation.

The international interconnection between Greece and Bulgaria spans a total length of 151km. It originates from the Nea Santa Extra High Voltage Center (EHVC) in Rodopi, Greece, and terminates at the Maritsa East Substation in Bulgaria. Within this distance, approximately 30km of the interconnection falls within Greek territory.

The second interconnection between Greece and Bulgaria is regarded as a project of pan-European significance. Right from the initial stages of its planning, it was incorporated into the Ten-Year Development Program (TYNDP) of ENTSO-E, as well as the list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) of the European Union. The domestic portion of the project amounted to €11.3m.

Greek Minister of Environment and Energy Theodoros Skylakakis said: “The second, international ultra-high voltage electrical interconnection of Greece-Bulgaria, is an important energy project of pan-European interest. The immediate benefits of this cooperation include: enhancing cross-border trade and strengthening energy security in Southeast Europe and the Balkan Peninsula. More international interconnections will follow, which will further upgrade our country on the European energy map.”

IPTO Chairman and CEO Manos Manousakis stated: “IPTO in cooperation with the Bulgarian Operator have completed an important energy project that greatly increases the interconnectivity of the two countries and strengthens adequacy on a regional level. The second international interconnection between Greece and Bulgaria will allow us to better utilise the green energy produced in the region and will contribute to the reinforcement of the European electricity market. With a strategic goal to upgrade the country’s position on the European energy map, over the coming years IPTO is launching new international interconnections with all neighbouring states while at the same time supports major intercontinental interconnection projects in the Eastern Mediterranean, with Greece being the main hub.”