Bulgaria, Bulgartransgaz has launched two public procurement procedures related to the expansion of the Chiren underground gas storage facility

, SEE Energy News

Bulgarian natural gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz said that it has launched two public procurement procedures related to the expansion of the Chiren underground gas storage facility, a project described as strategically important for improving energy security and increasing competitiveness and liquidity on the natural gas market in Bulgaria and the region. The project is worth over 150 million euros (excluding VAT).

Since 2013, the expansion of the Chiren facility has been on the EU list of the Projects of Common Interest (PCI). The project is part of Bulgaria’s energy strategy and is an inseparable part of the infrastructure contributing to the concept of a gas distribution center on the country’s territory, together with the projects for modernizing Bulgartransgaz’ infrastructure, the Alexandroupoli liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, and the gas interconnectors with Greece and Serbia.

The first public tender is for the delivery of the necessary materials and equipment, construction and putting into operation of the expansion of the facility’s ground part. That includes a new gas metering station and a compressor station with the related technological installations.

Estimated value of the tender is around 150 million euros (excluding VAT). The activities under the procedure will be funded with resources of Bulgartransgaz and with grant under the Connecting Europe Facility following the signing of a grant agreement. The deadline for submitting offers is 20 April.

The second tender is aimed at providing project readiness for the construction of a gas pipeline connecting the Chiren facility with the existing gas transmission network of Bulgartransgaz in near the village of Boutan. Its estimated value is around 420,000 euros (excluding VAT), and will be funded with Bulgartransgaz’ own resources.

The increased capacity of the gas storage facility is expected to attract new traders, including LNG traders, because the project is related to the construction of the Alexandroupoli LNG terminal in northern Greece, in which Bulgartransgaz holds a 20 % share.