Bulgaria talks on SOCAR’s participation in Chiren project (exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.9
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
Bulgaria welcomes the participation of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR in the project for expansion of Chiren underground gas storage facility in the country.
“We welcome the participation of as many companies as possible in these procedures. The participation of SOCAR there would be an expression of evaluation by our partners from Azerbaijan to the feasibility of this project, as well as a real area for enhancing cooperation between our countries in the field of energy,” the newly-appointed Energy Minister of Bulgaria Nikolay Pavlov said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
He pointed out that currently, Bulgartransgaz performs activities relating to two different projects, which will render Chiren underground gas storage (UGS) modern and meeting the standards and requirements of the European Union.
The first project concerns the modernization of the storage, which will improve the daily flows of natural gas to levels of 5 million cubic meters, according to the minister.
“The expansion of UGS Chiren is the second ongoing project of Bulgartransgaz. The expansion consists of a phased increase in the storage volume — larger volumes of stored gas, increased gas pressure in the tank, greater flow rate of daily injection and withdrawal,” said Pavlov. “The project plans an increase of working gas volume of up to 1 billion cubic meters and increase in the flow rate of daily injection and withdrawal up to 8 -10 billion cubic meters per day.”
He pointed out that in the framework of the first campaign for receiving project proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility, Bulgartransgaz has applied and obtained co-financing to carry out 3D filed seismic surveys in the area of Chiren structure.
“We expect to hold the tenders for supply of the equipment in 2019 and construction works to start after 2020,” said the minister. “Public procurement procedures under the Bulgarian law will be launched for the implementation of these activities.”
Earlier, head of SOCAR Balkan Murad Heydarov said that SOCAR plans to take part in expansion of the Chiren underground gas storage in Bulgaria.
“SOCAR is eyeing to participate in the project not as an investor, but as a contractor. The gas storage’s expansion is a part of the concept to expand Bulgaria’s potential for the Southern Gas Corridor,” said Heydarov.
The Chiren underground gas storage was created in 1963 and commissioned in 1974.
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