“The interconnector Greece – Bulgaria: IGB is of great importance for the security of supplies and the diversification of natural gas sources, and we cannot afford to compromise with the agreed deadlines,” the two Executive Officers of the project company ICGB – Teodora Georgieva and Konstantinos Karayannakos said while reviewing on-site the progress of the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector and meeting with representatives of the construction company responsible for the project’s implementation.
During the meeting, the Greek company assured ICGB’s management that all significant activities are actively progressing, and the linear infrastructure is expected to be completed on time – by the end of 2021:
“More than 160 km of the gas interconnector with Greece are now welded, and the fully completed sections reach 100 km. The trench preparation continues in parallel with implementing several other activities such as non-destructive testing of each weld, shrinkable sleeve application, and hydro-tests. Furthermore, preparations for the passage of the gas pipeline under the Maritza River have already been completed, and the teams on site are ready to start drilling in line with the time window for the activity set by the MoEW.”
“It is especially important for us that the interconnector is implemented within the agreed timeline, and we emphasized this during the meeting with the EPC contractor. The IGB pipeline is of great importance for the security of supplies and the diversification of natural gas sources not only for Bulgaria and Greece, but also for the entire region, and therefore we cannot make any compromises with the agreed deadlines,” said Georgieva and Karayannakos.
They noted that the project company had included serious compensation in the contract for the construction of the interconnector, which the contractor will request if the implementation of IGB is not completed within the set deadlines: “All parties have an interest in the successful completion of the pipeline within the agreed deadlines, but if these conditions are not met, the project company will not hesitate to activate the contractual compensation clauses. The interests of Greece and Bulgaria will be protected, and we have the full support of the two national governments in this regard.”
The IGB envisages the transportation of “blue fuel” produced in the second phase of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea to Bulgaria. Through this pipeline, which will join TAP, Bulgaria will import 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Azerbaijan. Thus, the state company Bulgargaz EAD has signed a contract with the Shah Deniz consortium to purchase this gas from the Shah Deniz-2 field. As a result, Bulgaria will meet 25-30% of Azerbaijan’s gas needs due to Azerbaijani natural gas. Construction work on the IGB is expected to be completed in the second half of next year.
A total of 150 kilometers of the 182-kilometer pipeline will pass through Bulgaria. The annual capacity is estimated at 3-5 billion cubic meters.