Bulgaria, Gas interconnection construction with Greece largely completed

, SEE Energy News

ICGB, a project company for gas interconnection between Bulgaria and Greece (so-called IGB pipeline), said that all key construction activities for the implementation of the interconnector project have been completed.

The statement from the company said that construction supervision and a number of checks and tests conducted in recent months have established that the gas pipeline and all its land facilities are finished and technically serviceable. The entire 182 kilometers of pipeline and the adjoining facilities are now filled with natural gas at 40 bar pressure.

The Greek company AVAX, which has been contracted to design, build and commission the gas pipeline, has reported to ICGB that stage one activities (crucial for the commissioning of the pipeline) were completed by 1 August, which will enable a fast commissioning of the pipeline, including priority completion of the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system for management of the facility.

ICGB stressed that all efforts remain targeted at the soonest possible commercialization of the pipeline, the aspiration being to do this even before the start of the forthcoming heating season.

The statement comes after CEO of Bulgarian public gas supplier Bulgargaz Lyudmil Yotsov said earlier this week that it is still unclear whether the gas interconnection between Bulgaria and Greece will be put into operation in October. He said that even if the interconnector is ready by 1 October, the State Oil Company of Azerbaiajn (SOCAR) said earlier that it will need additional time for double- checking, which means that they can decide to start delivering Azeri gas over the interconnector from 1 November.