Construction of pipeline to deliver Azerbaijani gas to Bulgaria delayed

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A gas pipeline between Greece and Bulgaria aimed at helping Sofia wean off Russian gas has hit another delay and will not become operational until June 2022, Report informs, citing Reuters.

“The coronavirus pandemic and need for additional environmental assessment for a crossing under a dam in the Bulgarian stretch had delayed the pipeline’s construction, the ICGB company, which runs the project.”

The 240-million-euros Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) pipeline was planned to have been ready by the end of 2020 when Sofia’s 25-year deal with Azeri gas company SOCAR imported 1 billion cubic meters natural gas a year kicked off.

Notably, the IGB, a 182-kilometer pipeline (113 miles), is being constructed by a joint venture of Bulgaria’s state energy company BEH and Greece’s gas utility DEPA and Italy’s Edison EDNn.MI.

The IGB is intended for export to Bulgaria of natural gas produced within the second phase of developing the Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. The interconnector will be connected to the TAP. Bulgaria will receive 1 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas per year through the IGB. State-owned Bulgargaz EAD has signed a contract with the Shah Deniz consortium to purchase 1 billion cubic meters of gas from the Shah Deniz-2 field. Azerbaijani gas will cover 25-30% of Bulgaria’s natural gas needs.

The length of the interconnector is 182 km (113 miles), of which 150 km runs through the territory of Bulgaria. The annual capacity of the interconnector is provided in the amount of 3-5 billion cubic meters.