“The entire Bulgarian state supports the contractor of the gas interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria to ensure the completion of the project,” Bulgaria’s Acting Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Ivan Syskov said today. The Bulgarian minister delivered a greeting at the start of the meeting with the companies involved in the construction of the interconnector pipeline, the aim of which is to optimize and speed up the integration processes.
Siskoff said the project must be completed as soon as possible because it is “vital”. He added that various agencies have objections: the fire service, the Irrigation System Authority, the Ministry of the Environment, and all relevant ministers have been informed and are working to address the problems.
The Bulgarian minister stated that some issues remain to complete the project and any delay will be insignificant. The Greece-Bulgaria interconnector connects the natural gas transmission networks of the two neighboring countries, providing access to the Southern Natural Gas Corridor and a number of new natural gas sources. It will transport gas from Azerbaijan via the Trans-Adriatic Natural Gas Pipeline and from other sources through the planned liquefied natural gas terminal at Alexandroupoli in northern Greece. The natural gas pipeline has a length of 182 km, of which 151 km are in Bulgaria and 31 km in Greece, with a projected capacity of up to 3 billion cubic meters per year, an amount that can be increased to 5 billion cubic meters per year if there is a demand in the market. The pipeline runs from Komotini in northeastern Greece, passes through Kirzhali, Haskovo and Dimitrovgrad and ends at Stara Zagora in southeastern Bulgaria.
The memorandum of understanding for the project was signed in 2009, and a joint project company, ICGB, was registered in 2011. The original plan was to commission the pipeline in December 2014.
When will it be ready?
According to Teodora Georgieva, the director of the ICGB project company, the interconnector will be put into operation between September and October 2022. The construction works have not yet been certified as completed and can be commissioned by the National Construction Supervisory Authority .
As reported by the Bulgarian news agency VTA, an agreement was reached that the project will be divided into two stages and that in order to emphasize the first stage it is important to put the interconnection pipeline into operation, the minister said. He stressed that he believes this will make up for some of the delay and shorten the period by two months.
When asked why the installation has not yet been completed, Siskoff replied that the reason is “deadlines missed by the contractor”. “I cannot say whether and to what extent the state is to blame and whether the control was sufficient,” he added.
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