BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct.13
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
First hydrotests on the Greek part of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) have already started, the ICGB AD, a project company, told Trend.
“Quality and safety testing of the infrastructure is underway, and the first hydrotests for the IGB pipeline in the Greek part have already started. The EPC contractor is projecting that the construction activities are on track and that the pipeline will be able to enter commercial exploitation in July 2022 as planned,” said the company.
The IGB project enables the transmission of gas and supplies from new sources, making it key to Bulgaria's energy security and part of the national plan for diversification of gas sources. The capacity of the project is 3 billion cubic meters with the option to reach 5 billion cubic meters. Half of the capacity of the interconnector is already reserved, as four of the shippers are completely new to the Bulgarian market. A contract has been signed for the supply of 1 billion cubic meters from Shah Deniz 2 based on a long-term contract with Bulgargaz.
The conclusion of the contract for construction of the interconnector dates back from the end of 2019, as one of the main commitments of the project company in structuring IGB is the obligation to control costs within the approved budget, which will ensure competitive transmission for customers. The delay in construction activities and the approved update of the construction schedule for the end of 2021 are due to objective reasons related to the global coronavirus pandemic and do not lead to direct losses. The established alternative route through the Greek system and Siderokastro provides a temporary solution for servicing the contract with Azerbaijan until IGB is put into commercial operation.
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