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Key activities for implementation of interconnector Greece - Bulgaria progressing in both countries

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

The Executive Officers of the project company ICGB from Bulgarian and Greek side Teodora Georgieva and Konstantinos Karayannakos inspected on-site the progress on the construction activities of the gas interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria. The two participated in a meeting with representatives of the company AVAX, responsible for the construction of the IGB gas pipeline, which will connect Bulgaria's gas transmission network with that of the Hellenic Republic.

During the meeting, the progress of the main activities for the implementation of the project on the territory of both countries was discussed. All activities on site are carried out under strict control for compliance with the imposed anti-epidemic measures set by the health authorities. The project company and the contractors for the main activities of the IGB project have established the necessary organisation for comprehensive testing of employees and to this date there are no registered cases of coronavirus.

The Greece-Bulgaria interconnector has a planned gas transmission capacity of 3 billion m3 per year with the option to reach 5 billion m3. The total length of the route is 182 km, 150 km of which are on the territory of Bulgaria. Nearly 110 km of the terrain have already been cleared, the humus has been removed and the route has been prepared for the next phase of construction activities. "All teams are actively working on the realisation of the IGB project and the main activities on its implementation are making significant progress despite the complications that have occurred due to the spread of the coronavirus," said the Executive Officers Teodora Georgieva and Konstantinos Karayannakos. According to them, about 100 km of line pipes with a length of 12 m and 18 m have already been produced and successfully delivered.

"The Greek company Corinth Pipeworks is operating according to schedule for the production and delivery of the pipes, as over 50% of the required quantities have already been delivered to our warehouses near Komotini, Haskovo, Dimitrovgrad and Momchilgrad. Deliveries of line pipes from the third of a total of five milestones are already in motion. These activities are progressing according to the approved terms under our signed contract," Karayannakos explained.

Over 45 km of stringing on the route is completed, and the process continues both on Bulgarian and Greek territory. Two types of welding activities are performed for the purposes of the IGB project - manual and automatic. Over 10 km of the route is welded, and non-destructive control of the welds is being performed. The process of automatic welding of the pipes has already started, which will speed up the realization of the interconnector.

"The IGB project will bring guaranteed diversification of natural gas sources for Greece and Bulgaria. Its significance exceeds the national borders of the two countries. The gas interconnector is in synergy with key large-scale energy projects such as TAP and TANAP as part of the Southern Gas Corridor, as well as with the planned LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis, Greece, in which the Bulgarian country participates as a shareholder. It will provide increased security of gas supplies and a variety of natural gas sources”, said Teodora Georgieva. According to her, through the IGB pipeline Bulgaria can have access to natural gas from Azerbaijan, the United States, Israel, Egypt, and other countries.

The project is a priority for the national governments of Greece and Bulgaria. IGB also receives strong support from the European institutions. The implementation of the project is irreversible, and its funding is provided through shareholders' capital, a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for a total of €110 million with a state guarantee and €39 million under the Operational Programme "Innovation and Competitiveness 2014 - 2020”. For the purposes of the project, €45 million have been provided from the European Energy Programme for Recovery.

The implementation of the project creates opportunities for gas transit through the Greece-Bulgaria gas pipeline and the gas transmission system of Bulgartransgaz EAD to the countries in South-East and Central Europe.

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