Construction and installation works have started on the gas metering station in Stara Zagora and the dispatch center near Haskovo as part of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) project, ICGB AD, a project company, told Trend.
“The pipeline is pass under the Maritsa River and under the Studen Kladenets Dam, which will be done through one of the most complex methods – horizontal directional drilling. The teams of the subcontractor in charge of this task have already been mobilized and are ready to start the first drilling under the Maritsa River.
During the construction phase, the project undergoes independent environmental audit once every three months for compliance with environmental protection and social impact standards. As of now, IGB shows great results that indicate 100 percent compliance,” said the company.
The deadline for construction of IGB is the end of 2021.
The IGB project enables the transmission of gas and supplies from new sources, making it key to Bulgaria's energy security and part of the national plan for diversification of gas sources. The capacity of the project is 3 billion cubic meters with the option to reach 5 billion cubic meters. Half of the capacity of the interconnector is already reserved, as four of the shippers are completely new to the Bulgarian market. A contract has been signed for the supply of 1 billion cubic meters from Shah Deniz 2 based on a long-term contract with Bulgargaz.
The conclusion of the contract for construction of the interconnector dates back from the end of 2019, as one of the main commitments of the project company in structuring IGB is the obligation to control costs within the approved budget, which will ensure competitive transmission for customers. The delay in construction activities and the approved update of the construction schedule for the end of 2021 are due to objective reasons related to the global coronavirus pandemic and do not lead to direct losses. The established alternative route through the Greek system and Siderokastro provides a temporary solution for servicing the contract with Azerbaijan until IGB is put into commercial operation.