Final touches are made to IGB for commercial launch

By Ayya Lmahamad

The final touches are being added for the commercial launch of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) gas pipeline linking Greece and Bulgaria according to the established schedule, reports Azernews by ICGB AD.

ICGB leaders Teodora Georgieva and George Satlas said all facilities were complete and ready for operation, adding that the construction contractor is expected to complete the pipeline management system in the next ten days.

“So that from October 1, Bulgaria and Greece can receive the first quantities of natural gas from IGB. We are about to buy more quantities of natural gas to additionally test the interconnection at a higher pressure than usual operational levels, in sync with the highest industry standards,” they said after an on-site meeting with Greek construction company AVAX.

In parallel with the finishing works carried out by the EPC contractor, ICGB continues to coordinate the administrative procedures in Bulgaria and Greece necessary for the issuance of all authorizations for the use of the infrastructure and its legal commissioning.

“At the moment, we have submitted more than 95% of all required documents to the NBCD for preliminary review and approval, in order to expedite the convening of a commission to issue Law 16 for Bulgaria and, consequently, a Consumers and businesses are counting on us to be operational from October 1st and to help reduce energy prices during the heating season, so for us there is no greater priority than that,” said Teodora Georgieva.

Furthermore, George Satlas underlined that the Greek side is making active efforts to have the IGB ready on time, as this is important not only for the two host countries but also for the entire region, given the complicated international situation and Europe’s constant efforts to fully diversify its natural gas supplies.

He noted that the authorizations necessary for the operation of the gas pipeline on Greek territory should be issued by mid-September.

The commercial operation of IGB is of paramount importance to enhance security of supply and ensure the diversification of natural gas sources for Bulgaria and the South East Europe region. The project connects Bulgaria to the Southern Gas Corridor and will enable secure supply from various sources to a number of ETUCE countries, including Moldova and Ukraine.

The IGB gas pipeline is designed to connect to the Greek national gas transmission network (DESFA SA) and the trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (TAP AG) in the Komotini region (Greece) and to the Bulgarian gas transmission network (Bulgartransgaz EAD) in the Stara Zagora region. The total length of the gas pipeline is 182 km, the diameter of the pipe is 32” and a nominal capacity of up to 3 billion m3/year in the direction Greece – Bulgaria.

The pipeline is designed to increase its capacity up to 5 billion cubic meters per year depending on market interest and the capacities of neighboring gas transmission networks.

The opening ceremony of the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector was held in Komotini on July 8.

Ayya ​​Lmahamad is the journalist of AzerNews, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad

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