Bulgaria, Bulgartransgaz announces three tenders to expand Chiren gas storage facility, SEE Energy News
The only Bulgarian gas storage facility, located in Chiren, is currently only 17% full, according to data from March 29th, the lowest level for this time of year. This means that Bulgaria’s gas reserves are critically low and that it will be harder to overcome the potential problem with supplies from Russia. That is why it is extremely important to increase the capacity for natural gas storage.
After several years of delay in the development of the project, the state company Bulgartransgaz announced two tenders two weeks ago – for the expansion of the storage capacity and the construction of a new pipeline that will connect the storage with the gas network.
Then, on March 30, a new public tender was announced – for the construction and commissioning of underground facilities that will be connected to the new compressor station.
The ultimate goal is not only a significant increase in gas storage capacity – from the current 0.55 billion cubic meters to over a billion cubic meters, but also working capacity (injection and pumping), which should double from the current 4.5 million cubic meters daily.
This is especially important because even if Chiren has enough gas in its storage, it currently cannot be pumped out fast enough to meet most of the country’s daily needs, which amount to about 13 million cubic meters.
The value of the new public procurement is 133.7 million levs (68.4 million euros) without VAT, and payment will be delayed during the implementation period of 24 months.
The idea is to launch ten new operational and three control wells through this project, which will work together with the new compressor station. Thus, in the next two to three years, all the necessary infrastructure for the expansion of the gas storage should be built.
The previous two tenders were announced on March 15, and the application deadlines are April 20 and April 8, respectively. The capacity expansion project should be completed in two years. The estimated price of the first public procurement is 153 million euros, without VAT, and the second 420 thousand euros, without VAT.
Thus, the total value of the three tenders reaches 222 million euros, which means that at least 30% of the funds will be covered from European grants, after the signing of the contract under the Connecting Europe Facility program worth 78 million euros. The rest of the financing will be provided by Bulgartransgaz from its own funds.