BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan.7
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The Board of Directors of ICGB AD, a project company for the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) has unanimously decided to use all contractual instruments to speed up the work of AVAX in order to complete the work on the EPC contract and ensure handing over the site to the contracting entity in the next few months, so as to achieve commissioning in July 2022 as initially planned, the ICGB AD told Trend.
“All efforts of the project company ICGB remain focused on meeting that deadline despite the setbacks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the delays caused by issues with the global supply chain and the performance rate of the EPC contractor. Unfortunately, the logistics problems are persisting, and the EPC contractor is already suffering significant delays concerning the critical equipment needed for the construction of all block valve stations (BVSs) as well as the gas metering station at Komotini (GMS1),” said the project company.
The project company is currently working on an analysis of which activities and processes can be carried out in parallel or within shorter periods given there is institutional support for that, so that the current commissioning date can be met without any further changes.
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.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn