91% of the construction works on the new gas interconnection of Bulgaria with Greece – IGB, have been completed, the project company ICGB announced. Two gas measuring stations near Stara Zagora and Komotini remain to be completed.
The company explains that the hydro tests have been successfully performed along the entire route of the interconnector and that the process of reclamation – restoration of the location in accordance with environmental standards is now underway. The 31-kilometer route of a total of 182 kilometers has already been completely renovated.
At the end of March, the ICGB announced that the gas connection was connected to the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) at the Komotini measuring station. The connection of the interconnector to the gas pipeline network of Bulgaria near Stara Zagora is forthcoming.
The goal of the project company is for the gas connection to start working on July 1, but sources say that it is unlikely and that it is more realistic that it will happen in the fall.
One of the reasons for that is the certification procedure, which can take about six months. On February 23, 2022, the ICGB submitted the necessary documentation to the regulators of Greece and Bulgaria.
The gas connection is essential for the diversification of natural gas supplies to Bulgaria, which will receive gas from Azerbaijan in the full contracted volume of one billion cubic meters per year.
The project should have already been put into operation, but construction was delayed, among other things due to the corona virus pandemic.
Due to the delay, the contractor pays penalties in accordance with the contract in the amount of 90 thousand euros per day. The gas connection should be completed by the end of 2021.
The capacity of the IGB is 3 billion cubic meters with the possibility of increasing it to 5 billion cubic meters.