BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec.9
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
It is planned to hold two audits after commissioning of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), the ICGB AD, a project company, told Trend.
Currently, the project company receives positive feedback on the regular audits performed by the independent foreign company RSK Ltd. under the EIB loan financing. The inspections are carried out every three months both in the construction phase and after the commissioning of the gas pipeline, and their main purpose is to verify that the IGB project is implemented in compliance with all environmental protection requirements in the regions along the route of the gas pipeline.
ICGB's obligations to protect the environment and the animal species in the areas along the IGB route are among the main commitments the company has made to the EIB in order to be approved for the loan financing. Within these independent audits, the documentation on the performed construction activities is reviewed and visits on site are included in order for RSK Ltd. to monitor whether the implementation of all activities meets the set environmental and social standards.
Currently, all inspections have been passed successfully by the project company, without any serious violations or deviations from the norms. After the commissioning of the gas pipeline, two more similar audits are planned.
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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